Elsie and I woke up this morning to two unexpected changes to our upcoming calendar. One was minor, requiring only small course corrections. The other was more convoluted, requiring significant rearrangements to our plans, which are going to include calls to airlines and hotels to cancel – hopefully without penalties!
We were disappointed too; we were looking forward to a productive and relaxing time-off. In addition, I had spent time and energy attending to the details of this trip. Now, it feels like time wasted. Admittedly, neither of these two changes to our plans have catastrophic impact – no one died, no significant financial loss, no relational disharmony.
Having said that, both Elsie and I were thrown into a temporary state of disequilibria. We were greeted by these two changes just as we were waking up. We hadn’t even been fortified with our morning coffee … or our morning devotional time! Elsie, as she normally does in situations like this, resorted to speaking in tongues; I sat quietly, the wheels turning as I processed all the changes that will have to be made in short order.
Finally, I got around to my scripture meditation for the day. It was Psalm 121 (emphases mine):
I lift up my eyes to the mountains — where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip — he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you — the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
What a timely reminder that these two pieces of news might have caught us by surprise but they did not catch God off-guard. He is like a hyper-vigilant watchman who never falls asleep on the job!
Five times in this short psalm, “the LORD” is mentioned. This is a translation of “Yahweh”, the name of the relational, covenant-keeping God. It brings to mind his goodness, faithfulness and attentiveness. Five times the phrase, “watch over” is used here. Five is the number of grace, is it not? I love the fact that God promises to watch over his covenant people in the big and the small matters of life. He promises to do so all the time (day and night), whatever you are doing (coming and going) and for always (now and forevermore).
So, what has meditating on this psalm done for me?
Simply put, it has taken away the pressure of having to fix things so that Elsie and I can be back on track with our time-off. He’s got this hot mess! I continue to be attentive to his nudges, do what he says and everything will fall into place once again.
I know he will do the same for you – especially if your situation is way worse that ours! Choose to believe his promise.
Lord our Maker, help us all to be confident in your ability to take good care of us like the Loving Dad that you are. Lord, you are solid rock and our feet will not be moved. Thank you for continually reminding us that you are so dependable, especially in this fickle world in which we live. You bring us such peace! Amen.