Today’s Reading: Psalms 32-34, 36-37, 121, 124, 126, 130
I am so thankful signs of spring are all around us! The air is warmer, the snow is gone, and I breathe a sigh of relief that I have survived the long cold winter. It is not that I hate winter, it is more like I fear winter. There is a feeling of peace we experience when we wake up to a new blanket of sparkly snow covering everything. The snow is beautiful – so peaceful, so quiet. Yet with the beauty of snow comes fear, and the reality of dangerous road conditions and extreme cold temperatures.
Life is very much like a fresh snowfall. It is absolutely beautiful and full of the potential for fun, but with it comes fear. Just like driving on an icy surface, there is fear of that feeling of being out of control – when life is happening to you and, no matter which way you turn the steering wheel, your life seems to be spinning the wrong direction. It is in these moments that we turn our eyes to the Lord. We cry out for His help and we place our family and our life in His hands.
I look up to the mountains – does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night.
The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. – Psalm 121
What a wonderful God we serve! I love this picture of God watching over me, providing a protective shade. What if He did sleep? What if He did not watch over us protectively? As a mother, I can drive myself crazy in a matter of a few minutes if I let my mind go to the “what if’s” in life. I consciously let myself rest and stop my mind from considering the “what if’s”. It is better for me to relax in the reality that I serve a God I can count on – a God I can trust.
What if the Lord had not been on our side? Let all Israel repeat:
What if the Lord had not been on our side when people attacked us?
They would have swallowed us alive in their burning anger.
The waters would have engulfed us; a torrent would have overwhelmed us.
Yes, the raging waters of their fury would have overwhelmed our very lives.
Praise the Lord, who did not let their teeth tear us apart!
We escaped like a bird from a hunter’s trap. The trap is broken, and we are free!
Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. – Psalm 124
Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy! – Psalm 126:3
From the depths of despair, O Lord, I call for your help.
Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer.
Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness that we might learn to fear you.
I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word.
I long for the Lord; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in the Lord.
I long for the Lord more than sentries long for the dawn.
O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is unfailing love.
His redemption overflows.
He himself will redeem Israel from every kind of sin. – Psalm 130
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” – Psalm 32:8
There are times in our lives when we wonder if God is watching, if He is going to respond to what is happening around us. The psalmist felt that way at times – times when he was struggling and needed desperately to hear from God. But this same psalmist, David, introduces us through his songs to the kind of wonderful God we serve. It was nice this morning to simply sit back and relax in who He is.
The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created.
He breathed the word, and all the stars were born.
He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs.
Let the whole world fear the Lord, and let everyone stand in awe of him.
For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command. – Psalm 33:6-9
He is our Creator. He made us and, therefore, He understands us (33:15). He is our help and our shield, surrounding us with His unfailing love. We can trust Him. In Him alone we can put our trust (33:20-22).
I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy…
In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles…
The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help…
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. – Psalm 34:4-6,15-19
This reminds me of the words of Jesus in John 16:33, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
There are so many scriptures that show us that we will experience troubles and difficult times. There is no promise that our heart will never hurt or that we will never face disappointments or persecution. But we serve a God of unfailing love who never leaves us – who is bigger than any difficulty we are facing.
Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths.
You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.
How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity find shelter in the shadow of your wings.
You feed them from the abundance of your own house, letting them drink from your river of delights.
For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see. – Psalm 36:5-9
Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.
So rejoice and be glad, all you who obey him!
Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure! – Psalm 32:10-11
The Lord rescues the godly; he is their fortress in times of trouble.
The Lord helps them, rescuing them from the wicked.
He saves them, and they find shelter in him. – Psalm 37:39-40