Kimberly is the talented musician who plays keyboard in the 11:00AM worship service. She’s a 37 year old single mother of two brilliant young girls. This afternoon she sits with her friend Jill in the doctor’s office waiting for the oncologist to share her results and give treatment options. The two women hold hands, touch foreheads and with closed eyes they both pray for good news, strength, courage, and hope.
Psalm 37 calls us to wait, trust, and hope in the deliverance of God. Waiting, trusting, and hoping are activities seldom exercised when times are good and blessings overflow. They are more commonly found in that uncertain space between disaster and deliverance. The Psalmist understands that we live in a world of real pain, real hurt and loss. We spend much of our lives between disaster and deliverance. To keep us from becoming unraveled and overwhelmed in these ‘between spaces’ our text offers a series of imperatives:
- Do not fret or be envious (1,7,8)
- Trust in the LORD and do good (3,5)
- Take delight in the LORD (4)
- Commit your way to the LORD (5)
- Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him (7)
- Refrain from anger and forsake wrath (8)
The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
he is their refuge in the time of trouble.
The Lord helps them and rescues them;
he rescues them from the wicked, and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
– Psalm 37:39-40
Most gracious and merciful Father in Heaven, we pray for all people who find themselves between disaster and deliverance. May they find you to be the God in whom they can exercise hope. May they come to know you as one who keeps your promises and finishes what you start. Draw them into the safety and dependability of your embrace so they too might find their refuge in you. Amen.