Psalm 27: Patching the Problem Never Works
I found myself at 4 p.m. on a Thursday at a tire shop with a hole in my tire. When I asked the mechanic to fix the one tire so I could get on my way, he gave me that look.
“Are you sure,” he asked. Then I got a lecture on tire maintenance. Thinking it was a sales pitch I called my husband to get his opinion and he agreed with the mechanic! If one tire had a problem, soon they will all have a problem. Patching the problem would not do.
Two hours later, I drove out with four new tires.
In Psalm 27, the Psalmist isn’t interested in a patch job on his life. He recognizes the problems he is facing with his enemies. Praying for their departure would be the quick fix but the Psalmist is more interested in long term problem. The Psalmist desires to experience the presence of God that he is currently not living in. There is no quick fix. He must wait for God to make God’s presence known. I know. I know. We wish we could tell the Psalmist, whether we know it or not, we are in God’s presence, but we did not write this Psalm. The Psalmist feels he must wait on God.
Long term, life changing goals often take waiting. As stressful as waiting can often be, waiting often reminds us of God’s goodness in the past and present. It is filled with possibilities of the future.
Some 25 years ago, my sister Beth was in a terrible accident. At each step of the journey, the doctors told us to wait and see. During that time, we learned to wait with hope. We learned to let go of the worry and find joy in the possibility that God was at work in ways we could not see fix the whole problem. Was she completely healed the way we desired? No but we saw the powerful healing hand of God.
This lesson of waiting has brought me through some difficult times in many areas of my life from personal relationships to ministry. Is it easy? No. I can imagine Psalmist penned this Psalm on a good day. Psalm 27 reminds us what to strive for in waiting on God. Hold tight to what we believe. Remember that God has been our helper in the past. As people of the resurrection, we aren’t looking for a temporary patch but a sanctified wholeness where we too know that we are dwelling in the house of the Lord.
Rev. Alicia Besser is the South East District Superintendent in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (Houston area).
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