Hello, my friend. If you have read PSALM 13, our chapter for today, you have probably been startled by the rather wild swings the pendulum of David’s life takes. Have you noticed how frequently he begins a chapter, with a cry from his heart. Chapter 10 begins, “Why do you stand aloof, Lord?” Chapter 11 cries, “In the Lord I take refuge.” Yesterday we heard David cry, in Chapter 12, “Help.” And today, chapter 13 begins with a great complaint, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts, and every day have sorrow in my heart?”
There is, I think, strong therapy in being absolutely candid and honest with one’s inner being. So often, I’m afraid we Christians pretend to be triumphant in all our lives, of being “more than conquerors”, when if people only knew, we would be sensing an estrangement with everything and everyone around us. I had a bowl of soup at Eddingtons today with one of my past-students whom I enjoy so much. In the conversation he admitted that at times he finds his mind bewildered by the turmoil that conflicting thoughts can produce. At one moment, some solution seems logical, in spite of the waves it may cause. And then, at the next moment, one moves ahead in an entirely different direction. And the result is deep frustration.
So we ceremoniously dumped all these conflicting thoughts on the table there at Eddingtons, and renewed together his deep commitment to allow the Lord alone to guide. His heart is strong and his life is pure in his walk with the Lord. So of course he can confidently trust the Lord to guide. And the result will be that great final shout of David’s, “I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me” (13:6).
You see, when we focus on the surrounding circumstances and problems, we feel the Lord has forgotten us. But when we focus on the Lord’s presence and provision, it seems that we begin to experience a deep, satisfying peace. I love that translation of I Peter 5:8, from Peterson’s translation, The Message, “So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; He’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; He is most careful with you.”
“Thank you, Lord, that we can know that trusting you is not being idly fatalistic but is being spiritually optimistic, since we can know your hand is indeed on us. We love you Lord, and give this day back to you.”
Thanks, partner, for your presence. Cheerio!