May 11, 2020

Trust in God

Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
—Psalm 33:20
Waiting is hard, but here the psalmist wants us (not me alone) "to quiet the heart in waiting God’s leisure" [Thomas Manton]. There's something important about the thrice repeated "our" in this verse. Charles Spurgeon calls this threefold our (our souls, our help, our shield) "three firm clasps, three strong holdfasts." When I pray on my own—whether in blissful solitude or in frightened loneliness—I know that I am not alone. And when I am with others, I am in such union with them that it is not "our souls" but "our soul" that have one help and one shield in God. I need but be patient.

In Isaiah 28:16, God says, "See, I am laying in Zion a foundation stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation: 'One who trusts will not panic,'" according to the NRSV—but "panic" is an interpretation. The actual Hebrew יָחִֽישׁ is a bit simpler—it means hurry, or maybe act hastily. Thomas Manton paraphrased it as "will not outrun God," which I like very much.

So I trust in God who guards my soul, but not my soul apart from all others, but my soul as part of the larger Body, that is, our soul. I know better than to get ahead of myself when I speak or when I think. Why would I think it is okay to get ahead of God?

I belong to you, O God, but I also belong to your people. Help us to trust that you are even now bringing about our deliverance from all that frightens and threatens us. I pray in the Name of him who taught me to pray: Our Father...

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