Psalm reflections – Echoes of God

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Last Wednesday, Dave’s fortnightly house group met, as usual at Mary’s house for a delicious home-cooked meal followed by discussion about faith.

The group have recently been reading the Psalms and Dave had set them the task of either writing a psalm or something inspired by a psalm.  A few members of the group have kindly agreed to share their responses with us, which will form the basis of the next group of blog posts…

First up, this is what Rachel wrote, inspired by Mike’s excellent sermon the previous Sunday about it being not only OK but natural to doubt. (Something we all do frequently!)

Psalm 27

A Prayer of Praise

27 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    I will fear no one.
The Lord protects me from all danger;
    I will never be afraid.

When evil people attack me and try to kill me,
    they stumble and fall.
Even if a whole army surrounds me,
    I will not be afraid;
even if enemies attack me,
    I will still trust God

I have asked the Lord for one thing;
    one thing only do I want:
to live in the Lord’s house all my life,
    to marvel there at his goodness,
    and to ask for his guidance.
In times of trouble he will shelter me;
    he will keep me safe in his Temple
    and make me secure on a high rock.
So I will triumph over my enemies around me.
    With shouts of joy I will offer sacrifices in his Temple;
    I will sing, I will praise the Lord.

Hear me, Lord, when I call to you!
    Be merciful and answer me!
When you said, “Come worship me,”
I answered, “I will come, Lord.”
    Don’t hide yourself from me!

Don’t be angry with me;
    don’t turn your servant away.
You have been my help;
    don’t leave me, don’t abandon me,
    O God, my saviour.
10 My father and mother may abandon me,
    but the Lord will take care of me.

11 Teach me, Lord, what you want me to do,
    and lead me along a safe path,
    because I have many enemies.
12 Don’t abandon me to my enemies,
    who attack me with lies and threats.

13 I know that I will live to see
    the Lord’s goodness in this present life.
14 Trust in the Lord.
    Have faith, do not despair.
Trust in the Lord

The psalm seems to be about holding onto the stronghold and light of God despite all the pitfalls, evils and darkness experienced in life.

Like many of the psalms it jumps from the past to the present to the future, and from doubt to faith without much warning but starts and ends with the assurance of God being the trusted stronghold.

On the basis of the themes in the psalm of faith and doubt and my own experiences I have written a little reflection using the idea of an echo as the unseen call and presence of God.

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I hear an echo of a voice, as if in a cave, sometimes soft and sometimes louder.

There is no echo without a source and I often long to find the source of it, to know that the echo has a real meaning and to understand the muffled sound fully.

Sometimes the echo has been so unmistakable, and I felt it resonate inside me, and I wonder why I ever doubted I heard it. Sometimes it feels like a nudge of guidance, a reprimand, sometimes a whisper of love or a blanket of peace and comfort. When I listen and trust it can feel like a coming home.

Full of doubt, uncertainty and any number of reasons not to follow, my spirit tells me that what I hear is the echo of the voice of God and that by following the voice of God I will find treasures in the darkness of the cave and will eventually see His face.

I believe the world still retains an echo of how it was meant to be and our spirits are all trying to hear the echo of God in our hearts. That is how we were made. But there are so many things that conspire to drown out the gentle echo of God’s calling.

Following and listening, trusting and praying is hard, and sometimes feels almost impossible. And sometimes feels almost absurd.

But once your spirit has recognised that the gentle echo is actually the voice of God and a loving Father, it is also almost impossible to ignore.

Once you believe that, even with a shaky and inconsistent faith, it is too amazing and too precious to ignore for long.

So to repeat the last thought of  psalm 27, despite all the challenges and disappointments that life can throw, once you recognise the echo as the compelling call of the voice of God, you can say with the psalmist –

13 I know that I will live to see
the Lord’s goodness in this present life.
14 Trust in the Lord.
Have faith, do not despair.
Trust in the Lord.

Rachel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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