When something unexpected or troublesome comes into my life, it takes some time to adjust to it. I have many questions. I try to gain understanding. I start thinking about the potential scenarios. I wonder about the longer term impact on my life or my family’s life or the church’s life. Sometimes those thoughts crowd together in my brain so I find it hard to focus.
Psalm 62 is a great comfort when times like this arise. One commentator says it is a Psalm for people under stress. David is going through a stressful situation. Others attack him and keep on battering him. So he feels like a fence about to fall over. Worse yet, they don’t attack him with truth but lies that seem to succeed.
Yet he finds his comfort in God. Verse 1 says – “For God alone my soul waits in silence,” (ESV) or “My soul finds rest in God alone.” (NIV) It’s like when we focus on God it calms or quiets our soul. My devotional reading says this:
“Literally it says ‘Only toward God my soul is silence.’ When we are in trouble our soul chatters to us, ‘We have to have this, or we won’t make it. This must happen, or all is lost.’ The assumption is that God alone will not be enough – some other circumstance or condition or possession is necessary to be happy and secure. David however learned to tell his soul, ‘I need only one thing to survive and thrive – and I have it. I need only God and his all-powerful fatherly love and care – everything else is expendable.’” (Tim Keller – Songs of Jesus, May 11, Ps 62:1-4).
Now I’m not sure I would have only used the word “expendable” at the end of that summary. When someone close to us suffers a serious health crisis or we lose a loved one, I don’t think the word ‘expendable’ applies. I would think the word temporary or limited might be a helpful addition – “Everything else is expendable or temporary.”
But I agree with his main summary. We often think that we need something more than God to survive or make it. I can conclude that or at least my chattering soul can say that. Yet when I come to God, my soul is silent. My souls finds rest. Why?
God is sufficient. “He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.” (Psalm 62:2) David goes on through this Psalm to review the help and peace found in God. If you’re stressed today, spend time in Psalm 62.
“Thank you God for preserving David’s prayers for us. They so often express the chattering of our souls. But they also lead us to find resolution and calmness in you. Help us even today to treasure finding rest in you alone.”