View from the Middle
Lord, when I think about all that You’ve done for me, I feel a sense of great, great gratitude.
Read Psalm 56:1-13
 For the director of music. To the tune of “A Dove on Distant Oaks.” Of David. A miktam. When the Philistines had seized him in Gath. Be merciful to me, my God, for my enemies are in hot pursuit; all day long they press their attack.  My adversaries pursue me all day long; in their pride many are attacking me.  When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise- in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?  All day long they twist my words; all their schemes are for my ruin.  They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, hoping to take my life.  Because of their wickedness do not let them escape; in your anger, God, bring the nations down.  Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll- are they not in your record?  Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me.  In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise-  in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me?  I am under vows to you, my God; I will present my thank offerings to you.  For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow does David deal with his great fear?
We love to tell completed stories, or speak about problems we’ve overcome. But this psalm is an unfinished story, a view from the middle, if you like. We don’t know how it’s going to finish because David doesn’t know. There’s much that’s bad: he’s relentlessly pursued (1,2), slandered and threatened (5,6). In the middle of this, David makes a decision: over and over again we read the words “I will.” “I will trust in you” (3), “I will not be afraid” (4,11), and “I will present my thank offerings to you” (12). He makes a choice to trust God. Sometimes in the midst of everything, when we don’t or can’t see what God is doing, all we can do is choose to trust, believe and thank God, even when we don’t feel like it. That’s not to deny our feelings; remember that David’s tears are gathered, seen and cherished by the Lord (8). But we are not to be ruled by our feelings; instead, we are to stand on what we know is true, and trust that when this story we’re in the middle of is told, it, too, will be a completed story that testifies to God’s grace, love and power.
Are you in the middle of an unfinished story at the moment? Where do you need to say “I will”?
Loving Lord, I thank You that You know my story from beginning to end, and are caring for me in it.
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