Today’s Reading: Psalm 144
How did last week unfold for you? Is today, Sunday, a fresh beginning of not just another day, but the beginning of another week where you are looking forward with great anticipation to what may unfold? Are you ready to face the un-expected? How have you reacted in the past when faced by the un-expected?
For me, last week was very much like most weeks; everyday very full, but there were 2 incidences which intersected on Friday; both strong reminders of the frailty of life and who the life-giver is.
Friday was the funeral of a gentleman in his mid 70s who died very suddenly and un-expectantly the week before. Yes it was a celebration of his life because he knew and loved his Lord, but in an instant, life changed for his family and friends; the grief of knowing you will never hear their voice again; hold their hand, laugh together or share precious family moments.
Friday was also the anniversary of the death of another family where a number of years ago, they lost a precious teenage daughter; a young life taken very suddenly, also without warning. As each year passes, the milestones you expect to experience with your child simply continue to mount up as never shared; and the chair at the table will always be empty.
So why might you ask, do I share this as we read David’s Psalm today?
In grief, there is certainly a deep darkness. David wrote many Psalms, where he cried out to God, particularly the last four Psalms we have been reading and reflecting on over the past couple of weeks. And today, David’s poetry is another reminder of the reality and frailty of life; a reminder of who it is who holds control over our life.
O Lord, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow. vs 3-4
Many of the Psalms remind of this;
‘As a Father has compassion on his children, so the lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone and its place remembers it no more.’ Psalm 103:13-16
A reminder that we cannot in any way have control over our salvation, nor the number of our days; a reminder that life both now and for time eternal, is a gift from God, and not an entitlement. Whether aged 77 or 17, that was the span given.
And like David, as we lift our eyes and stop and give praise to the God of finite details; we too can give thanks that he will equip us to cope with whatever may arise, the one who:
‘ …. trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle…’ vs1
Yes, God who is personal and responsive to our needs is the one responsible for the victory of each day, even when it’s cloudy and the dark days come; even when the un-expected is inevitable, YET …
‘I will sing a new song to you, O God; on the stringed lyre, I will make music to you, to the one who gives victory to kings, who delivers his servant David from the deadly sword.’ vs9-10
David knew it was God who had brought him through the battle lines with Saul, to finally take up his position as King; not to be complacent looking into the future, but knowing God would continue to be there to deliver and rescue him.
I may not face battle lines or physical danger from an enemy wielding a sword, but I do and I will face both personal and spiritual battles. I like you have had to face the un-expected, but like David, I know I can walk into each day with confidence because my God IS Lord.
‘Blessed are the people of whom this is true; blessed are the people whose God is the Lord.’ vs 15