“Out of the Depths I Cry to You” (ELW 600)
1 Out of the depths I cry to you;
O Lord God, hear me calling.
Incline your ear to my distress
in spite of my rebelling.
Do not regard my sinful deeds.
Send me the grace my spirit needs;
without it I am nothing.
2 All things you send are full of grace;
you crown our lives with favor.
All our good works are done in vain
without our Lord and Savior.
We praise you for the gift of faith;
you save us from the grip of death;
our lives are in your keeping.
3 In you alone, O God, we hope,
and not in our own merit.
We rest our fears in your good word;
uphold our fainting spirit.
Your promised mercy is my fort,
my comfort, and my strong support;
I wait for it with patience.
4 My soul is waiting for you, Lord,
as one who longs for morning;
no watcher waits with greater hope
than I for your returning.
I hope as Israel in the Lord,
who sends redemption through the Word.
Praise God for grace and mercy!
When as Christians we use the word “hope,” we do not simply mean the wish or desire for something to happen, but rather the eager expectation that what God has promised will come to pass. “Hoping” in this biblical sense is like knowing an old friend is coming to visit, and as the time draws closer you find yourself anticipating their arrival by leaning out the window, peering down the road, straining to catch a glimpse of their car drawing near.
The final two verses of our hymn are about waiting on God to answer, not impatiently, but with hope. Hopeful waiting on God is not filled with uncertainty or despair, but rather with patience and contentment. Sustained by such hope, the believer knows God hears prayers and promises to answer. Though waiting is never easy, hope looks not to its circumstances or to its worthiness, but to the God who promises to answer, and so it is secure.
God of hope, give me the strength to wait for your answer, secure in the assurance that you keep your promises, through Jesus Christ. Amen.