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Focus

Prepare yourself to discern what is and what is not of God today. Still yourself so you can hear how God is calling you.


Read

Psalm 55:16-23 (NRSV)

But I call upon God,
and the LORD will save me.
Evening and morning and at noon
I utter my complaint and moan,
and he will hear my voice.
He will redeem me unharmed
from the battle that I wage,
for many are arrayed against me.
God, who is enthroned from of old, Selah
will hear, and will humble them—
because they do not change,
and do not fear God.

My companion laid hands on a friend
and violated a covenant with me
with speech smoother than butter,
but with a heart set on war;
with words that were softer than oil,
but in fact were drawn swords.

Cast your burden on the LORD,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.

But you, O God, will cast them down
into the lowest pit;
the bloodthirsty and treacherous
shall not live out half their days.
But I will trust in you.


Reflect

A distress signal is a something we send when we have exhausted all other resources. SOS, flares, smoke signals, honking horns, whistles, and bells can all be a sign of desperation. The psalmist in Psalm 55 was pretty desperate when a close and trusted friend acted more like an enemy.

When the crisis is more emotional than physical, flares and smoke signals are not very helpful. The psalmist knew how to use the best signal of all, calling out to God. All other resources exhausted means 911 God. Morning, noon, and night the signal went out.

Like a serial novel, the psalm does not give us the conclusion. We do not see the rescue, the restoration, or the healing. That is for another day. What we do see is faith. The psalmist chose to trust in a loving, unchanging, holy God. The choice was made in the middle of the crisis, when all around were arrows of betrayal and deception.

Faith is not so much believing that something will happen as it is confidence in the One in whom we trust. God is good, all the time. Thanks be to God!


Pray

Lord, as I close my eyes in prayer, shut out from my vision the arrows of betrayal, despair, hurt, and doubt. Open my eyes to see only you. Remind me that you do not change, are stronger than my problems, and love me more than I can ever understand. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Go with God.

Carla Bellis

Carla Bellis

Carla Bellis is a member of the Orange Cumberland Presbyterian Church and serves on the Board of Christian Education in Missouri Presbytery. She is also currently serving on the Ministry Council of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
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