My Refuge, My Portion

Posted: 31 March 2016 in Ramblings

A Meditation on Psalm 142 [ESV]

We all have those days, weeks, or months, don’t we?  Those times when we throw our hands up and say, “What else can happen?” or “I can’t handle one more thing!”  Those times when we feel alone in a crowded room, surrounded by those who care for us, yet we seemingly have no one who can truly identify with our troubles, since they are – after all – our troubles.  Unique to our situation or so it seems.  We step into those traps that grab us during our moments of self-centered worry, when there seems to be no respite, no relief, and no refuge during those times of increasing difficulty, illness, or private guilt.

With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.
I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him.

When my spirit faints within me, you know my way!
In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me;
no refuge remains to me;  no one cares for my soul.

 These words of the psalmist, given to us by the Holy Spirit, offer reason for us to reflect on those times when we are trying to “do it” ourselves.  When we are standing up and shaking our fist at the sky in tearful anger, perhaps we should remember that our Heavenly Father is with us.  When we cry out to Him, He hears our plea.  When we look to Calvary, to the cross atop that mountain, we realize that our hill isn’t nearly as insurmountable as we might have thought.  Although it seems to us that no one notices or cares, He cares.

 I cry to you, O Lord;

I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low!
Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me!

 Our Heavenly Father is listening when we cry out.   He offers that much needed refuge.  All we need do is recognize that through Him the mountains of difficulty in front of us are made into foothills, perhaps even meadows.  They are not insurmountable in His eyes.  He will give us a portion of His strength necessary to confront the plans of the evil one who seeks to devour us.  He will grant us the perseverance to get through the darkened places which we walk, seeking only His light and comfort.

Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name!
The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.

 

As we reach the open meadow prepared for us by His Holy Spirit, it is like stepping out of a prison which the sin of the world has constructed around us.  As we return to the light of our Risen Lord, we give thanks for the gift of forgiveness which Christ has provided for us on the Cross.  It is then we realize that God has provided not only that forgiveness for our sin, but a blessed righteousness promised to us without measure.  For we know that when our days in this world of tears end, He will call each of us to Himself promising a resurrection as beautiful and bountiful as that of His beloved Son.

 

  Published in the Shepherd’s Staff newsletter

of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church

April 2016 Edition

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