Read | Psalm 71vv1–14
In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
turn your ear to me and save me.
Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.
For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
my confidence since my youth.
From birth I have relied on you;
you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
I will ever praise you.
I have become a sign to many;
you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
declaring your splendor all day long.
Do not cast me away when I am old;
do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
For my enemies speak against me;
those who wait to kill me conspire together.
They say, “God has forsaken him;
pursue him and seize him,
for no one will rescue him.”
Do not be far from me, my God;
come quickly, God, to help me.
May my accusers perish in shame;
may those who want to harm me
be covered with scorn and disgrace.
As for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
Respond | Tom Dearduff
Never before have we experienced a global need to shelter in place. Never before have we feared what may linger in the air around our houses, or on the hands of passersby. We are being, rather forcibly, drawn into our homes and told not to leave. Gabrielle and I live in a 600-square-foot apartment overlooking and overhearing the perpetual sights and sounds of a major construction project. We have no silence, for they work unless is pours—and still sometimes then.
It would be easy to let all the sound and accumulating dust and limited space expel any hope of finding refuge. And yet, we share this small apartment with a transcendent God who is our rock and our fortress. So we take refuge in spite of the perpetuity of this new normal. In this loud airplane seat of a quarantine, let us never forget that God has brought us forth from our mothers’ wombs; it is God by whom we have been sustained and on whom we may always rely, especially today.
Holy Spirit, we believe; help our unbelief. We will always try to have hope; help us in our hopelessness. We “will praise you more and more,” even though we, like the psalmist, face enemies seen and unseen. You are the rock of refuge, to which we can always go. Transform our homes into sanctuaries of hope in this season of fear and anxiety. Amen.