Quiet. Stillness. Peace.
When I read the Psalms, I often picture David in the quiet of the field, close to his sheep, basking in the quiet and the presence of God. He strums his harp and sings to God. Tranquility and peace reign. This is probably not an accurate picture, but I like it.
I love times of quiet aloneness with God, times of separation from the panicked pace of this world. These times feed my soul.
But that is not everyday life for me, and David did not live apart from confusion and trial either.
Many of the Psalms were written, not from a shepherd’s field, but from caves. He wrote during wilderness wanderings as he ran from the treacheries of Saul. He wrote in times of desperate despair and after times of great sin. He wrote when his soul was full of questions.
David’s life was not one of peace and tranquility. He was threatened and falsely accused, chased and hounded, burdened with the leadership of a fledgling nation, charged with protection against enemy armies, tempted and sorely tried.
Yet, still the Psalms, those songs of praise and prayers of petition, came. Still David looked to the God of his heart for rescue and comfort and forgiveness and grace. Still, he faithfully offered praise to God.
Here is the truth.
God is with me whether I am sitting peacefully in my special chair with a cup of coffee or franticly fighting against evil in this world. His presence surrounds me in trial and in triumph. He walks with me in the middle of every mess in my life. I do not have to be in a special place or a special situation to experience His amazing peace.
That is why I can say with David –
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
While I long to pull away from the world and its problems, sometimes God places me squarely in the heart of difficulty, and there He shows me that He is still God and He can carry me through.
God’s light shines in my darkness and His love holds me in the storm.
I am not perfect, but I serve a perfect God. When I struggle, this is the truth I must remember and the certainty to which I must cling.
Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusts in thee.
Psalm 142: 1 I cry out to the Lord; I plead for the Lord’s mercy. 2 I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles. 3 When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn. Wherever I go, my enemies have set traps for me. 4 I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me. 5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.
Photo – Sunrise on the Gulf, Beth Mims