October’s here – it’s time to write again. Before I can give out I must take in, receive some input, a message of hope to my dry old heart, morsels of wisdom from heaven. ‘Man cannot live on bread alone’, quoth He – our inner being requires peace, a kiss of grace, the gentle reassurance that here, today, all is well. When I don’t really know where else to turn I always let the pages fall open at David’s psalms to find the echo of my own heart in its struggles and yearning on this long journey of perseverance and promise.
Psalm 27 has found its way to the top of the pile again in the last few days – the declaration of faith in God’s protection, the longing to come home to Father’s house, the choice to set my face to what (or Who) will satisfy the inner cry so I can feel safe again in the face of all the overwhelming threats of life. I love the psalmist’s honesty, a man composing verse out of his own experiences of the Lord and life, songs of the heart – expressing fear and desperation, sorrow and lament, yet telling his soul the truth and testifying of his faith and hope that surely all is not lost...
If all I do is eat this word this month I won’t go far wrong 😉 Come sing with David and with me… IT’S BIBLE STUDY TIME!
The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?
when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.
I’m not a soldier like David, Lord, fighting real battles for his country, with violent armies attacking him with the ferocity of wild beasts, but I know how it feels to be oppressed, confined, with my back to the wall, in the middle of a mental and spiritual battle for life and health. He had the faith and confidence that You would always rescue him – however great the odds, however threatening the challenge. You fought for him and You will fight for me too: your wisdom and direction, your inner strengthening in my heart, the peace that holds me in – in these I trust.
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life
at home with Daddy God… that has to be the best home in the world!
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
to see you with my inner eye, invisible presence of light, inscribing pictures on my sanctified imagination, whispering silent words of hope and love
For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in his dwelling;
He will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me;
at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.
He was so sure of You! Let this grace come to me, dear Lord, to cover me, lift up my heart, dispel my fears – so I can sing for joy again beneath the shadow of Your wings of protection
Hear my voice when I call, O Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
it seems immediately he is feeling desperate again! That’s just like me…
My heart says of you, “Seek His face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
I know so well there has to be a determined response to that inner call to make anything change; how easy it is to ignore the prompts and pull and simply never make the time to pray… and then I feel guilty and unsure – and actually, so does he:
Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
You have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Saviour.
does David really think he’ll be ignored, rejected? perhaps he is as insecure as I am! But then he finds his voice of faith again:
Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.
oh yes – I DO know this is true, it is my testimony too! But please keep me on track so I don’t wander off and lose my way:
Teach me your way, O Lord; lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
breathing out violence.
I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
So help me, lead me and protect me, God: I’ll wait for You. AMEN