Psalm 27:7-14

Experiences in youth choir formed my faith. My music minister, Carol Greer, not only expected musical excellence, she explored with us the meaning of each word we sang. So when my thirty-year-old husband was dying of cancer, it was an old youth choir anthem based on Psalm 27 that brought me comfort. On those nights when the fear of what lay ahead haunted me, I imagined the sounds of Mary Frances Allitsen’s “The Lord is My Light and My Salvation,” until I felt calm and sleep overtook me.

This song of confidence, even defiance in the face of all that chal-
lenges us, proclaims God’s powerful strength to sustain us through
our most troubling fears and experiences. As it helped carry me
through the worst season of my life twenty years ago, that anthem
remains a source of hope for me.

The recent deaths of my parents brought me back to Psalm 27 to really explore the second half of this hymn. Today’s text is not a song of confidence and defiance; it is a lament. The psalmist knows that each day will not find us standing on our rock claiming victory. Some days will leave us wondering whether God’s face has turned away from us. When it comes to a life of faith, lament is as much a part of it as praise and victory. The more we realize that our feelings of isolation and longing are not a failure, but a chance to cast our cares upon God, the closer we come to glimpsing the hope and promise of God’s presence here in the land of the living (v. 13).


What sadness and despair do you need to bring before God today?


Comforting God, we are grateful for your presence when we feel strong, but we are exceedingly grateful for it when we are weak and tired, disap- pointed and angry. Receive our laments and let them draw us closer to you. Amen.

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