Uncertainty around big issues like health, economy, employment, justice and social connections is creating quite a ripple effect in all of our lives.
For some, the effect might be more like a wave pool where it’s hard to keep our heads above the water and we feel really out of sync––where one more wave has us gasping for breath. We wonder, when will this stop?
This summer I’ve been meditating on Psalm 37. The title in the ESV translation is He Will Not Forsake His Saints. I love this reminder: regardless of what’s going on in the world or in my life, God is on his throne; he is our salvation and our stronghold in times of trouble (Ps. 37:39).
Two themes in this Psalm are helping me to stay focused in this season: 1) do not fret yourself; and 2) attach yourself to God (abiding in Jesus).
Appearing three times in the first eight verses, “fret not yourself” is in the context of not worrying about evildoers or evil (people and things that aren’t good). The dictionary describes fretting as eating or gnawing away at us, consuming our thoughts, bringing emotional strain and anxiety, and becoming frazzled––a state of extreme physical or nervous fatigue. The only thing fretting will do, according to scripture, is lead to even more evil (8)––causing harm to ourselves and others; bringing sorrow, distress and calamity. Fretting is not a good seed to sow. What are you fretting about?
The antidote to fretting is attaching ourselves to God: to trust in him (3); delight in him (4); commit our ways to him (5); be still in him (7); and to turn away from evil and do good (27). These choices produce much different fruit in our lives––calm, quiet, settled, refreshed, revitalized––and lead to well-being for ourselves and others, even in the midst of uncertainty.
Whatever is troubling you, bring it to Jesus. Talk with him about it. Scripture says that as you commit your way to the LORD and trust in him, he will act (5). He loves justice (28), knows what you need, and delights to be your Helper (40).
On the journey with you,