Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our reading this week from Psalm 71 speaks eloquently to the toils of this life. The Psalmist doesn’t find himself in a secure position. Though he can run to God for refuge, the Psalm has a repeated theme of opposition. We need to come to God for protection continually. God has commanded the protection of the Psalmist, but he asks yet again for rescue. The enemies continue to come and accuse the author.
I’ve recently interacted with several people who are afraid that they have sinned in such a way that God would abandon them. They think there is no reliable hope for them. They can’t feel the fervor within themselves that they have been led to expect in the Christian. They begin questioning whether the Holy Spirit has left them. This Psalm speaks to that very situation. When we doubt, when we are under pressure, when others are accusing us, what do we do? We look to the Lord who has been our rock and our fortress in the past. After all, we realize that God never changes. He always remains the strong tower, a place of protection for all who are trusting in him.
A quick illustration, if I may. As with all illustrations, it can break down if we push it too far. But God will not break down, because we can’t push him too far. A relative of mine was sick and was not able to care for herself. She didn’t know what was going on around her. What happened? She was brought into a place of safety and healing. She had no idea that was going on at the time. It took a little while before she realized that she had the protection she needed. In fact, she has probably still not discovered all the ways people were watching out for her.
When we are weak, when we are weary, when we are hard pressed on every side, and we look to the Lord for his care, we may have no idea what he is doing for us. As we look back on it, we might be able to learn of some of the circumstances of his protective care. In the midst of the trial, all we do is look to the Lord and trust that he will be able to show himself to be the great and mighty God who watches over his people.
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