But I call to God, and the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice. He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me.
I feel that these three verses provide a simple and cohesive view of the grace that God shows us in our day-to-day lives. I have often found in my personal life that it feels as though God will eventually get tired of hearing me call out for Him, or that I am somehow being too needy in my prayers. Yet reading these verses, it’s clear that He doesn’t care how often we call out to Him, which is a very encouraging thought. The last verse here is particularly impactful for me, because I spend my days in an environment where I am frequently challenged in my faith and my morals. The fact that I can know with certainty that I have a loving Father who will protect and keep my soul in safety, regardless of the battles that I am forced to wage, is a comfort and peace to me.
Lord, I pray that in the days to come that your children would always be reminded and be brought peace through the presence of your overwhelming support. And I pray that as I continue in my walk in the place where you have put me that you would be patient in teaching me that lesson.
– Ashley Serraglio
For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.
In the 1950’s, as missionaries in Cuba, Roy and I and our two little boys lived in a thatched-roof house, surrounded by banana trees, on the shores of Cabañas Bay. It was perilous times, during Dictator Fulgencio Batista’s regime. One bright moonlight night, at 2 o’clock in the morning, heavily armed military soldiers surrounded our home. Four of them banged loudly on our door, saying that they had rumors that we had arms hidden in our house, and they were going inside the house to search!
As I remained on the porch with two of the soldiers, two others went inside with Roy. I silently cried out to the Lord, “Please Lord, don’t let them frighten our sleeping children!” After a very long search, the twenty-plus soldiers stayed on the beach until daylight. Roy explained to me that the soldiers searched every room of the house, including the attic…..but they walked right by the childrens’ bedroom and didn’t even see the door!!
Thank you Lord, that you neither sleep nor slumber, and you always hear us when we pray. Amen.
– Ethel Nelson
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame, he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.
“Dust in the wind / All we are is dust in the wind.” This lyric was written by Kerry Livgren from the band named Kansas. Livgren also describes a life as “just a drop of water in an endless sea.” This song was actually inspired by a truth of Scripture. Though much of the song would not be considered theologically sound, the basic premise is that humankind, that includes you and me, are small, seemingly insignificant and fleeting.
In Psalm 103: 11-18, David uses the “we are dust” (v14) metaphor to contrast man’s smallness to the immensity of God’s character. In the two bookends of this passage in verses 11 and 18, David compares the “steadfast love” of our God to two examples of things of tremendous magnitude. The first is that of space. How can we ever fathom the size of our solar system which is just a speck in the vastness of the galaxy, not to mention the universe? Such is the enormous scope of the love of God for those that fear him. The psalmist further illustrates that enduring love in the word picture of time from forever ago to forever in the future. The Apostle Paul capsulizes this same thought in his prayer that the people of God would “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Eph. 3:8). God’s love is vast and totally without dimension. His love is not a fickle love that is on and off; rather, it is a “steadfast love” that we can rest confidently in.
Between the bookends of his love are two truths that express what this love looks like. First is the amazing immensity of the forgiveness that he offers his children, a forgiveness that is beyond measure, just as the distance between east and west is without measure. This forgiveness isn’t just sin overlooked, but is sin “removed” an unfathomable distance from us. The second truth is the depth of the loving relationship our God has for us. David highlights that we are recipients of an extraordinary compassion found in the loving relationship of a child with his “abba” father. Some of the most precious words of the Psalm are in verse 14; “He knows our frame”. Incredible. This compassionate Father knows a mere speck of dust like me.
Father, may we draw deep comfort in the assurance that your love and compassion are perfectly expressed in who you are and that you know and love me, a mere speck of “dust in the wind”.
– Gary Schoenwald