The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.
Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Saviour.
Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.
Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.
Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations.
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
In our world today waiting seems unpopular. We are invited to ‘just add hot water’ and it will be ready ‘in-an-instant’. We are advised that should we not want to wait in the queue we can consult the website which, has all the answers to our queries straight away. We are urged to ‘get fitter faster’ and ‘buy now, pay later’. Waiting seem to be going out of fashion.
The Psalmist was writing when life happened at a pace we can scarcely imagine. Through life’s journey he discovered a confidence in God’s faithfulness as enemies were faced and foes fell. The Psalmist is not complacent. Instead a continued request to seek God, follow God and learn from God in order to always believe and have courage.
As we wait for Easter, may our waiting be just as productive. Time to reflect on those hard times when we have faced trials and struggled to glimpse God with us. Time to share our stories of faith with others who need to hear God is on their journey too. Time to rejoice that in the waiting of Lent God will reveal to us the depth, height and breadth of love for us once again.
Give us patience when it is needed so that we can seek your path in life
Give us initiative when it is needed so that we can live life for you.
Give us urgency when it is needed so that we respond in love.
Give us time, in these days of ‘instant’ to have confidence in your constant love, justice and hope. Amen
Carole Marsden is a minister in Sedbergh in Cumbria
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