Freedom and Safety

I will be glad and rejoice in your loving-kindness, For you have seen my affliction. You have known my soul in adversities. You have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy. You have set my feet in a broad place.
—Psalm 31:7-8

Here's that broad place again—the old savanna where our species evolved, the one which still lives somewhere deep inside each human being. It's the place where we're able to feel both freedom and safety, the place where God frequently sets the feet of those who write the psalms.

Here in the middle of Psalm 31, the freedom and safety have come about because God—the richest of the rich and the famousest of the famous—has taken notice of one who thought him- or herself beneath notice. And I love the way I'm told this: God sees the affliction of the afflicted, and God knows them in their troubles—and not just the them they show to others, but who they are at the very depths of their being.

And so how does the psalmist give this freedom and safety expression? Through exultation and joy—not the kind that gloats and brags, but the kind of joy that results from loving and being loved.

May the freedom I long for be the kind of freedom that is compelled to gratefully acknowledge the One who gave it to me.

Grant me safety, Lord; grant me freedom. But even more, give me a heart to praise your Name and a mouth to show forth the joy that accompanies your unmerited and endless love; in Jesus' Name, who taught me to pray: Our Father...