I read the following this morning about this next section of Psalm 107. Sea travel can be a metaphor for life. There are clear days in which we feel that we are in control, that our sea craft can take us anywhere we want to go. But when great storms come up we realize we are helpless before the enormity of the waves. The illusion is shattered that life (or the sea) can be tamed through our management skills or wits. See if you agree with this author’s perspective as you read this passage. Does it in a way describe life?
Psalm 107:23-32 (ESV)
23 Some went down to the sea in ships,
doing business on the great waters;
24 they saw the deeds of the Lord,
his wondrous works in the deep.
25 For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
which lifted up the waves of the sea.
26 They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths;
their courage melted away in their evil plight;
27 they reeled and staggered like drunken men
and were at their wits' end.
28 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
29 He made the storm be still,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 Then they were glad that the waters were quiet,
and he brought them to their desired haven.
31 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
32 Let them extol him in the congregation of the people,
and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
I think the author is correct. Sometimes life looks like sailing on a clear day. The possibilities and opportunities seem endless. We sometimes plan on clear days and fail to factor in the reality of storms. Yet storms come. Our inadequacies to it stare straight us.
When that happens, we need to follow verse 28. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble and he delivered them from their distress. We can live with the assurance that we don’t have to anticipate every storm or have all the knowledge to steer through it. God is our rescuer and deliverer! Let us thank the Lord for His steadfast love and his wondrous works to us.
Thank you Lord for your patience with us when we act like life will be nothing but smooth sailing. You’ve told us ‘in this world you will have trouble.’ But you also said, ‘Take heart, I have overcome the world.’ Thank you for the hope you gives as we go into Thanksgiving weekend.
Tim Keller, Songs of Jesus, October 8, Psalm 107:23-32