Friday, January 23, 2009

In God… (Psalm 56) 230109

Recently, my family observes that my daughter, Alethea, is easily frightened whenever she hears someone’s footstep toward the house. She seems to be very frightened and will quickly run towards her grandmother or grandfather or mother or myself; whoever is nearest to herself. She will seek comfort and protection from us; those whom she trusts. We are not sure what has caused her insecurity, but we know that we are her pillar of strength that she trusts in times of fear.
Today’s psalm reminds me of that. The psalmist declares that when he is afraid, he will put his trust in God (v3). He further declares that in God, he shall not be afraid (v4, 11). As I meditate on this psalm, I can sense the psalmist dependence on God. He is aware of the situation around him, he is aware of the danger and threat he is facing, and he is also aware of his own emotional anguish. In the midst of all these, he seeks refuge, comfort, strength and everything he needs, in God.

In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid (v4).
In God, whose word I praise, In the Lord, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid (v10, 11).

I am drawn to the fact that the psalmist’s ultimate focus is not what is out there, but rather what is in God. He knows that in God is all that he need. He knows that in God is where he can find security, protection, comfort, peace and rest.

The world today which you and I live in is harsh. The financial crisis hits us so badly that our government has to, for the first time; dig into the national reserves to help the people to pull through this crisis. Marriages have been breaking down so badly, that it is not uncommon to find a divorcee within a stone-throw distance, and government has to step in to encourage couples to go for pre-marital counseling. Moral has been also deteriorating so badly, that having an affair in not longer a big affair; cheating on taxes is considered being prudent; back-stabbing and office politics are just means for survival of the fittest; and even road rage can be justifiable as long you are the one who started it first.

In such a world, we really need to find a place to regain our sanity and orientation. We cannot keep going without knowing where we are heading, or even not knowing where we are. Life is race; in Singapore, it is a rat-race. But we must be sure that we are in the right race, so that we can be in the right place where we want to be. Where can we find such place that we can regain our right pace and right orientation?

In God.

The psalmist suggests that the place is in God. No wonder, throughout the history, Christians are strongly advised to have quiet time or devotion time. The bible never says what time of the day is the best time, but it surely demonstrates the truth that it is good for God’s people to spend time with Him, in Him.

I know that you are busy, most probably busier than me. But I think I am less busy because I have chosen to have time everyday to be in God. That is why I am always reminded of the pace I should go in this race, and keep my orientation clear. It is a discipline. You don’t need to follow after my way of doing it, because you are not me; but you must do something about it and find your time to be in God.

The Lunar New Year is just round the corner, it will be very busy for some of you. It will be even busier for some of you after the New Year, but do not be trapped in the wrong race. Run towards God, and stay in God.


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