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The words of the psalmist speak to us in a time of questions, challenge and difficulty. The human side of us wants to believe that we are capable of creating our destiny. Rugged American individualism is what made this nation the envy of the world because of what we created with our hands. From the Washington Memorial to Mount Rushmore, these are signs of American power and what we can do when we set our minds to do something.
Ideas about the power that humanity has to harness the environment and change it to our own will are not new as seen in the Egyptian Pyramids and the Great Wall of China. Now that is a wall. Yet the psalmist brings us back to reality and reminds us just how limited our power truly is. There are things that are beyond our control. Sometimes it is oppressors that are stronger than us. Sometimes it is natural disasters that catch us unaware. Sometimes it is the invisible that wreaks havoc by way of germs that invade our bodies and make us weak and vulnerable.
The point the psalmist is making is that there is always something. Our lives are never lived in an utopia. In those moments the psalmist offers sound advice, he tells his community to trust, to delight, to commit, to be silent and to wait. All of these things go against our natural inclination to take matters into our own hands.
Yet the psalmist sees a different path that is possible, one that brings us to a deeper abiding relationship with the Almighty. The psalmist sees how the difficulties of life may become the pressure that the Almighty uses to remold us and make us better. Better to ourselves, better to our families and community and better to God. What makes us better is we have unmasked the deceit of human ability and recognized our deep need of God. The God we are called to trust, the God we called to delight in, to commit, to be silent before and the God we are to wait upon.
Because what we truly learn about God is not in what we do but in what we see God do for us. While we were weak and without help, Christ died for us. In his death and resurrection that we celebrate each Sunday we affirm our need of God and wait upon God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. So while waiting, make sure you trust, delight, commit, be silent and see the salvation of God.
Published on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 @ 8:23 PM EDT