I’ve suffered a bit of a rising tide of anxiety, a loss of self confidence, and some frustration of late.
It may be healthy – I have some sense of changing, of exploring different priorities in life, too. Sometimes the anxiety is linked to certain triggers of stressful failures and changes in my past. The fear that history is repeating.
It came on when my job situation stabilised. It could a kind of disappointment: certainty brings with it diminished possibility. Or a kind of growing pain: certainty allows the luxury of reflection and reassessment of unhelpful patterns in your life.
Anyway, it’s seems relevant to today’s Psalm, which is two sections of previous Psalms edited together. I recognised it straight away, because both had language and thoughts I was particularly excited by.
Both are about God being big.
The the first was a fugitive Psalm, 58. David, not yet king, hides in a cave, then in the morning has an awesome praise moment seeing the dawn illuminate the full size of god’s creation, as he sings the day in with his harp. Very memorable. I added it to my list of passages that night make a good Christian song one day.
This Psalm, 108, leaves out the cave, so we just get “in the morning I sing with my harp and contemplate how big God is”.
The second, Psalm 60, is from when David was king and fighting back ambitious neighbouring nations, as kings do.
He suffered a military reversal. The campaign was ultimately successful, but in the time of struggle he wrote this Psalm to give his fear, and the fate of the whole enterprise, into God’s hands.
It’s about god’s size, he literally visualised God as a giant using one nation to throw off his shoes and another as a basin to wash his hands in.
When I blogged Psalm 60 this rather comical image brought back lovely childhood memories of giggling at the language when I chanted the psalm as a cathedral chorister “Moab is my washpot”.
Who knows if David was even at war when he made this frankenpsalm. Maybe the conflicts he surrendered to god’s will were just the trials of a typical day at the king’s palace.
They edit together neatly because they are both moments of realising how big God is. Two moments of trusting God, one as fugitive, one as king, that delivered David to where he is now, singing a song in morning, in what remains his habit.
The quality of God that joins these three dots in his life is mentioned in the opening line: steadfast.
So I wake up in a Saturday, and I’m off to a conference at church, to think about a treaty with our indigenous brothers and sisters. And here is this message to think about how big God is, how he has been good in the past, and will be good again.
As I’m feeling unsettled by some stressful triggers, I will remember the good triggers. God has been steadfast to me too; twas grace that bought me safe thus far.