Monday, May 7, 2012

God, an abiding, trustworthy Presence

When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
I was stupid and ignorant,
I was like a beast toward thee.
Nevertheless I am continually with thee;
thou dost hold my right hand.
Thou dost guide me with thy counsel,
and afterward thou wilt receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but thee?
And there is nothing upon earth that I desire besides thee.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.

- Psalm 73.21-26, RSV.

This is one of my favorite passages of scripture. It spoke to me 25 years ago during a very hard time in my life. It still speaks to me when I am under stress or feeling hopeless. Life is very hard. It is easy to feel abandoned by God. It is easy to think that prayers dissipate in the sky, and are not answered.

This passage speaks of God's continued presence in our lives, even when we do not feel God, or when things are difficult. God is there with us in our suffering, loneliness, pain.

One only believe that God is a trustworthy being, who loves us unconditionally.

I always have my prayer beads with me. Anytime life is tough, or I do not feel like praying, I can turn to the Lord with by reciting my mantra, but repeating God's name. God is always there, nearer than my own breath.

Again, the reliance upon God as a continual presence is buttressed by another passage of scripture, one I consider my favorite, especially as rendered in the beautiful language of the Revised Standard Version:

Thou dost keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on thee,
because he trusts in thee.
Trust in the LORD for ever,
for the LORD GOD
is an everlasting rock.

- Isaiah 26.3,4, RSV

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