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Daily Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, June 16, 2022  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Psalm 42

As a deer longs for flowing streams,
    so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
    for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
    the face of God?
My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while people say to me continually,
    “Where is your God?”

These things I remember,
    as I pour out my soul:
how I went with the throng
    and led them in procession to the house of God,
with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
    a multitude keeping festival.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise him,
my help and my God.

My soul is cast down within me;
    therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
    from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
    at the thunder of your torrents;
all your waves and your billows
    have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
    and at night his song is with me,
    a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God, my rock,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I walk about mournfully
    because the enemy oppresses me?”
As with a deadly wound in my body,
    my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me continually,
    “Where is your God?”

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise him,
    my help and my God. (NRSV)

I cry sometimes. Those sometimes happen more often now given our current reality, but I also smile a lot more. I don’t think I would be wrong in arguing that the 2020s have been tiring. Come Sunday morning I breathe a sigh of relief: finally, I can be my best self. All of my worries are gone and nothing can get me down.

Yet when the service ends, I know that I have to return to all the things that complicate my life and my relationship with the Lord. Though I want to hide away in the Lord’s house, I know I cannot live my full life hidden behind the sanctuary that is the brick-and-mortar church. Like the psalmist I am reminded day and night that the Lord delights in the gift that is my whole life—even when I feel like a failure.

Psalm 42 reminds me, reminds us, that there is always room to speak with God; even if I am speaking from the depths of the darkest valleys, I am reassured that God will hear. God is still with us even when my vision is clouded with sorrow or depression. Psalm 42 reminds me that the hope I place in the Lord is not a fragile thing that has to be hidden away and safeguarded from failure. That hope is a guiding light that does not waver. There is no doubt: as surely as the sun will rise so too will the steadfast love of our Lord lift me up.

Loving God—whose love endures forever—when I fail, let my failures open the door for me to glorify your name. May the hope and trust I place in the Almighty guide me from the depths and lead me home to your saving presence. Amen.

Written by Quantisha Mason, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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