In The Shelter of Your Wings
A Psalm of David, when he was in the Wilderness of Judah.
O God, you are my God, I seek you,
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands and call on your name.
My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,
and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
when I think of you on my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
This Sunday, we share a Psalm that’s near and dear to my heart, and many more I’m sure – number 63.
We’re not sure who the singer is, but it’s often thought of as David, who could be fleeing the events and potential persecution around Absalom’s kingship by running to the wilderness.
Whatever the reason, this psalm is parched with a thirst that can only be met by the grace of God.
The psalmist needs God like I need coffee every morning – I can’t get up without it. What a striking way to think about our faith…do you need God as much as you need your Tim’s or fairly traded, shade grown cup of java in the morning? More than a cup of good cheer this ‘holiday’ season?
Sure, the easy answer is: of course! But we all get our cuppa instantly, or even for the espresso addicted among us, it takes but minutes.
Faith? Well, faith takes a lifetime. Are we prepared for that? Seriously, do you crave, long for, absolutely desire God as much as a simple cup of coffee or tea? We all feed that need readily and easily. Can we say the same for our soul?
The psalmist is weary. The wilderness is not a friendly place. It’s barren. It’s dry. Every drop of life seems to be wrung from its grainy hot sands. The air simply draws out the living breath of the psalmist. Like the deep breath we all take when we realize we’ve made a decision and come what may, there’s no turning back, out comes the exhale: O God…
O God, what am I going to do? O God, how am I going to pay the bills this year? O God, how on earth can I fill the empty space in my heart where my grief sits, like a knot that ties up any desire for tomorrow to come? O God, how can I face the pain I’m living with for yet another day? O God, will it get better?
We’d like faith to be like that cuppa your hot beverage of choice.
Soothing. Simple. Instant. Cheap.
Give me what I want to take this away right now. Our culture is filled w