By David Goree
My mom and I were in our Ford station wagon on a narrow country road on an errand I have since forgotten. I, a skinny fifteen-year-old with a learner’s permit and a broken ankle in a walking cast, was at the wheel, driving somewhere we in Oklahoma lovingly call “out in the boonies.” The road was bad, even by Oklahoma standards, with long segments of asphalt lying fractured and askew. I inadvertently steered our car onto a peak in the asphalt and hit high center. The car was stuck with the two rear wheels spinning futilely.
Mom and I got out of the car and considered our options. This was a long time before cell phones, of course, so options were few. I tried to rock the car back and forth off of high center—to no avail. We were stuck.
Then, as if on cue by a director in a bad movie, two armed men appeared out of the woods.
Several terrible scenarios raced through my mind before it became obvious that the duo weren’t murderers, but hunters. The bigger man handed his rifle to the other man. With one thrust of his hip, the bigger man shoved our car off of the mound of asphalt and back onto all four wheels.
We had barely thanked them when they disappeared into the woods.
I tell this story a lot, and so does my mother. Stories of people helping me—in unlikely situations, in situations where help is seemingly not to be found, in situations where I don’t deserve help—these stories bubble up to the top of my memory.
The writer of Psalm 22 knows this feeling. He is compelled to tell of the Lord’s deliverance, and he knows these stories take on a momentum of their own:
Posterity shall serve him;
men shall tell of the Lord to the coming generation,
and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn
that he has wrought it.
We tell stories of the Lord’s deliverance, not out of duty and not to simply give credit where credit is due, but because we can’t help it. Gratitude for His help makes us His most avid story-tellers.