“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
I absolutely love the way psalms speak to the deepest parts of our souls. They show us the real depth and breadth of human emotions in our relationship to God- from utmost praise and thanksgiving in moments of joy, to the devastating feelings of fear and abandonment when we have lost our way. It is all there in the psalms. Like a good song lyric that you hear and say, “Yes. A thousand times yes. Thank God I am not alone and someone else feels this way too.”
I will never forget a specific interaction I had with Psalm 91 in my early 20’s. I was struggling through a difficult time of not knowing where to go or what to do with my life and as I prayed and read scripture, I came upon this psalm.
It was not the first time I had ever read this psalm, but it was the first time I did something a little bit different. When I read verses 14-16 (quoted above) I replaced all the “he’s” with “she’s”. I know it sounds simple, but ladies, go back and re-read these verses with she’s instead of he’s and I guarantee you it will speak to you in a different, more personal way (gentleman, you can read it as is and I hope it speaks to you in a personal way!)
As I read it this way, I saw myself as God’s beloved daughter in the text and I heard God speaking those words specifically about me- and not just about a king in Ancient Israel.
I was someone who could call on God and God would protect me, deliver me, be with me in times of trouble, and would show me salvation, even if in that moment I couldn’t see it and was feeling lost. That was God’s promise to me too.
Sometimes God’s promises feel distant to us. We want to trust them, but we struggle. We feel like God has promised good things to other people but maybe has forgotten about us. We can intellectually believe in God’s goodness, grace and mercy, but if we are honest, we have a hard time feeling it at times.
All sorts of other things in our lives can drown out that still small voice of God that promises us that we are not alone, and that God can redeem even this. Sometimes it is simply a matter of asking the other voices to quiet down so we can hear God over the noise.
Take a moment to read Exodus 6:1-14.
God tells Moses to go tell the Israelites that God will rescue them from Egypt and free them from slavery- that is good news!
Except that when Moses tells them, verse 9 says, “but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor.” How many times do we hear the promises of God? That God is with us. That God is doing a new thing. That we can trust God to show up, but our present circumstances prevent us from really believing it?
Wherever you are today, seek to not only hear but listen and trust God’s promises in a new way for your life.
Daily Prayer: God, you have promised your love and grace to me new every morning. Help me to seek you today and trust that those promises are true, even when the world makes me feel otherwise.
Daily Participation: Spend some time looking back at times in your life where you felt alone and lost. How was God taking care of you in ways that you couldn’t see at the time? How do you think God might be taking care of you today in ways that you might not realize?
Rev. Emily Everett is a global missionary with the Shade and Fresh Water Project in Brazil. You can follow Emily’s Missionary journey on Facebook at https://m.facebook.com/dancingmissionary/
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