Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 20, 2018
Praise be to the Lord, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege. Psalm 31:21 (NIV)
Psalm 31 is one of my favorite psalms in the entire Bible. In it, we encounter David trusting fully in God as his refuge and source of hope, even in the darkest of times. God is his refuge (v.1), rescuer (v.2), rock and fortress (v.3). So much so, that even when there is “terror on every side” (v.13), he is able to be at peace and is confident in the Lord’s protection and provision.
Often we think that our ability to encounter the goodness and love of God is conditional. When the weight of the world presses in and our fears and anxieties seem to overwhelm, we can find them to be all consuming and struggle to see how the love of God can reach us in that dark place. Yet it is in these moments, not in spite of them, that we often encounter God’s love in the most intimate of ways.
For David, a “city under siege” was not a metaphor but a very present reality and danger. Likewise, many around the world today read Psalm 31 under threat of violence, terror attacks, and loss of all they know and hold dear. What was true in David’s day is true today. No matter how dark the darkness may be, God’s love is always able to reach you. Even if today you have death to face, there is nothing to fear. As St. Paul said to the early Christians in Rome, “I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
On the other hand, you may be reading this from a place of relative safety and security. You may, on the surface, have everything you could ever want: a successful career, beautiful family, and the ability to travel the world. Yet as humans we are remarkably gifted at living disintegrated lives, where our exterior and interior lives are in a constant state of misalignment. As such, while you may appear to have it all together, as you read this today your heart may feel like a city under siege.
Do you have secret fears, doubts, and insecurities that you’ve never told a soul? Do you live in a place of consistent anxiety and doubt that leaves you paralyzed and unable to move forward in faith and trust in God? I believe these are the places within us that God loves to enter into, if we will open our hearts to him. He longs to show you today the wonders of his love, not just when you feel open to it, but even when your life feels like it is under constant attack. Encounter afresh his calming presence in the midst of your storm!
Father, remind us today that your love reaches us in our deepest place of need, bringing light to our darkness and replacing fear with hope, trust, and love. Amen.
Where does your life feel like a city under siege?
When the weight of the world presses in and our fears and anxieties seem to overwhelm, God’s love can reach us in that dark place. #WisdomHunters #trustindarktimes
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