Psalm 63:6-8 NLT
'I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.'
It is easy to agree with the sentiment that God is “my helper”. However, my submission to God leads me into contexts I would never have chosen for myself. Yet, God remains my friend, and friends stick with us through thick and thin.
This has taken me years to fully appreciate, and even longer to relax into. Is it a resignation of responsibility to quote Romans 8:28: “…all things work together for good, for those who are called according to [God’s] purpose” (ESV)? Or am I merely trying to put a brave face on challenging circumstances? I believe Paul wrote those words in recognition of the reality that God is always on our side. I face the challenge of first agreeing with that statement and then going in search of God to find grace, no matter my situation.
So, as I have aged, and hopefully matured (for there is no guaranteed correlation between these two states of being), I realise that I must stay awake in every moment of life, attentive to the presence of God. I need to keep a careful watch for God, much like the disciples in their storm-tossed boat (Matthew 14:22-36). Scripture tells us this was during the fourth watch (ESV), between 3:00 and 6:00am. This is when the night is at its darkest and just before dawn. We can enter a fourth watch at any hour of the day or night. It is when we feel most lost, without light to reveal our way, and are invited to scan an unseen horizon for the presence of Jesus. As Peter discovered, as he leapt from the boat to join the Master and was then battered by the reality of the waves that surrounded him, Christ’s hand held him securely.
QUESTION: Have you found God’s hand holds you securely through the fourth watch, when life is dark and storms rage?
PRAYER: I need you each day; I need a saviour and a friend. Hold me in your grip.