The psalms are the language that God has given the church to pray, to sing, to speak his language back to him. Each Sunday, we have one psalm as a centerpiece of our worship time together at WIts' End. During this series of reflections on the Lectionary Psalms we will hear from people in our community as they think and pray through the upcoming psalm for that week.
Today's post is by our Writer in Residence, Casey Hobbs.
I long for resolution. I long for peace in the cheapest sense of the word. I long for deliverance from discomfort, from longing, from wondering, from hoping but not having. I worship at the temple of comfort, of cheap conflict resolution, of quick answers.
And perhaps this is the real reason Psalm 27 and I have not seen eye to eye for the past hour or so. Here the psalmist is in a state of distress, an army arrayed against him, apparently with some zombies among the number, waiting to eat his flesh. If I, in my current definition of distress, am longing for resolution, to an escape from difficulty, you can bet I’d be longing for some serious resolution if I were in the psalmists’ shoes.
But here there is only one desire expressed:
to live in the house of the Lord,
all the days of my life,
to savor the sweetness of the Lord,
to behold his temple.
Arrayed against a band of maurading zombies and the psalmist longs only for the presence of the Lord. If I could just look at the temple of the Lord, the psalmist prays, I would be content.
I have a hard time connecting with that kind of faith.
But the faith the psalmist is showing us is the kind that leads to life. It may be costly but it is real, it is true, and it is enduring. In the most dire of circumstances, the psalmist does not lose sight of the one that is able and willing to deliver. In the presence of the Lord there is safety, there is shelter, there is joy, there is music, there is a listening ear, and there is mercy.
The Lord is my light and my help;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
before whom shall I shrink?