Reading: Psalm 27:7-14
Reflection: The verses that precede today’s reading in Psalm 15
express great confidence in God’s presence and grace, and a deep
longing in the Psalmist’s heart for intimate connection with God. It is
this sense of God’s nearness and love that frees the Psalmist to
offer the prayers we read today. Having experienced God’s
closeness, the writer prays that God will not leave, but will hold him
close. He is deeply aware of those that would seek to do him harm,
and, as a protection, asks for God’s guidance and direction in the
ways of life. Notice how, as the prayer progresses, the Psalmist
grows in confidence, finally proclaiming his assurance that he will
experience God’s goodness in spite of his struggles. Finally, he
exhorts himself to wait patiently for God, because this is what will
keep his connection with God strong.
There can be no lasting light in our lives, and no possibility of being
a light to the world, without a deep, intimate connection with God. It
is easy to observe rituals and pray prayers, but when we experience
God’s presence, we discover a strength and confidence that not only
sustains us, but that enables us to shine through even the most
difficult circumstances. It is also God’s presence that guides us in
the ways of life – the best way to live if we are to flourish. But, the
key is the practice of waiting patiently on God. It is not that God is
reluctant or slow to come to us. There is nothing that can separate
us from God’s presence. Rather, it is that we need patient waiting to
still our souls enough to recognize God’s presence.
Practice for Today: The practice of stillness (sometimes called
silence) has always been taught by spiritual teachers as a way to
encounter God and learn to know God’s presence. This is not about
passively sitting in a noiseless environment. Rather, it is about
intentionally opening ourselves to God’s Spirit, and turning away
from distractions so that we can experience God. Make some time
for stillness today.
Prayer for Today: I wait patiently for you, O God.