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Monday, March 21, 2022
Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 63:1–8
O God, you are my God, I seek you,
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands and call on your name.
My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,
and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
when I think of you on my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me. (NRSV)
I picture David praying in the wilderness declaring God as his God and seeking the comfort of God’s presence. David has been in close relationship with God and knows of the great comfort that feeling close to God can bring. He knows that God’s steadfast love is “better than life.”
I have never feared for my life in the wilderness or otherwise, and I have never felt as a chosen one by God—not even close—but I can relate to feeling despair in the face of a great loss and finding comfort through prayer, through God’s steadfast love granting me peace and extending grace to me through the work of others in my life. God’s steadfast love is better than life and is always there. It is infinite.
As wonderful and awesome as this is, the thought of this tremendous love somehow makes me feel uncomfortable, because I can’t help wondering how I can deserve this kind of love—what do I need to do to be worthy of this kind of love? I know that God’s love is unconditional, but what do I think I need to do to deserve it? I think I need to offer it to others, even when it’s hard. It’s one thing to extend love and grace to our dear ones, but God wants us to have faith and spread love throughout our lives, even when it’s difficult—especially when it’s difficult.
God wants us to treat with grace those we dislike; to listen with patience to those with whom we disagree, so that we can understand them; to hear truth even when it’s hard to hear, all by tapping into God’s infinite and steadfast love so that we can be an instrument of God’s love ourselves. I need to work within myself to be able to do this in any substantial way. David prayed, “You have been my help.” I need God’s help as well.
Heavenly Father, I am so very grateful for the gift of your steadfast love that is better than life. I pray for the strength and courage to open my mind and my heart to the voices of others so that I can spread that love throughout my life, even when it’s hard. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Written by Janet Love, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church
Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church
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