Daily Devotion - Friday, February 19, 2016

The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. - Psalm 27:1-2

I was watching a cable news channel the other morning when I was getting ready for work, and after about fifteen minutes of listening to an endless stream of negative and anxious “news,” I started feeling poor.  

Based on what I was hearing, it felt like the world was about to come to an end.  It sounded like war was about to break out between us and Russia, North Korea was going to start a nuclear holocaust and half of the Muslim countries in the world were about to mobilize and rise up against the U.S. 

My stomach starting to hurt, and I tried to think about anything else but what I’d just heard, but couldn’t shake the uneasy feelings I was feeling.  Even changing the channel to watch ESPN for a while didn’t soothe my nerves.  

I am going to venture a guess here, but I imagine that there are more than a few of us out there who feel the same way after spending some time in the 24 Hour news cycle.  There are so many things in the world to make us afraid right now.  Maybe they were always there, but now we hear about them more often.  Actually, we hear about them all the time, to be more precise. 

One of the lectionary passages for today is Psalm 27.  The verses at the top of this devotion are the first two verses in the psalm, and they are words that help me to make sense of all of the anxiety-filled news that I hear every day.  On a more intimate level, these words help me make sense of the turmoil that I sometimes experience in my own life, in my own little slice of the world.  

The psalmist sings of a Lord who is his “light and salvation.”  “Whom shall I fear?” he asks.  “Of whom shall I be afraid?”  If it was just me facing all of the struggles of life, I would almost certainly be overrun.  If it was just me defending the gates of my spirit, they would fall.  If it was just us holding the line against Evil in the world, Evil would undoubtedly be victorious.  

Only it isn’t. 

The God who created us, sustains us, loves us and gave everything to rescue us also has our backs.  God will not let us fall.  We may feel weighed down by the burden of bad news around us.  We may struggle to find joy in the midst of suffering, hardship, and the like, but God is our stronghold, and will not leave us to destruction.  

May you feel the strength of the Lord today and every day.  May you know with certainty that in an uncertain world, the one thing you can be sure of is the love and justice of God.  And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always.  Amen.  


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