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Devotion: Psalm 62

Psalm 62 NIV

Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

How long will you assault me?
Would all of you throw me down—
this leaning wall, this tottering fence?
Surely they intend to topple me
from my lofty place;
they take delight in lies.
With their mouths they bless,
but in their hearts they curse.

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God[c];
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.

Surely the lowborn are but a breath,
the highborn are but a lie.
If weighed on a balance, they are nothing;
together they are only a breath.
10 Do not trust in extortion
or put vain hope in stolen goods;
though your riches increase,
do not set your heart on them.

11 One thing God has spoken,
two things I have heard:
“Power belongs to you, God,
12     and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”;
and, “You reward everyone
according to what they have done.”

For those of you that know me, you have probably figured out that I don’t rest well. Maybe I was drawn to this Scripture today because I am tired, or maybe the Holy Spirit had something in mind for you today too. In this busy world, we elevate and reward the “go-go-go” lifestyle even though we know it is not healthy or life giving. Even as a pastor, you would think that I had built in insight to resting well, but I clearly do not, and it seems like a habit that the week after Holy Week, I am learning this all over again. As I have pastored at this church over the last four years, so many of you are so encouraging toward me as you see the work I do, the young family I am raising and the many plates I am spinning at one time. I will hear from you from time to time, “I don’t know you do it!” And this is meant as an encouragement and probably also a prayer that you are hoping I can keep on, keeping on and stay the course. But if I can be really honest today, I don’t always know how I am doing it too other than to say that God’s grace is made perfect in my weakness, and I have A LOT of weakness. And it comes out most when I am really tired and at the end of my rope. I have noticed how when I am burning the candle on both ends, God fills in the areas where I am not measuring up with God’s abounding grace.

I believe that Psalm 62 has a good word for us about resting in the right things, so I invite you to sit with this passage of Scripture this week. As we have just walked through Lent and Easter, we felt that it would be helpful to study the Psalms in our devotional time together, especially in light of the resurrection. Jesus often quoted from the Hebrew Bible and used the book of Psalms in his own prayers, and so can we read these prayers through the lens of the hope of resurrection? For the next two months, Pastor Philip and I will be spending time with a few specific Psalms and then sharing how it brings us hope and healing.

As I re-read Psalm 62 today, I am struck by the ambiguity of the “THEY.” In some Psalms, the “THEY” is the named enemy which is usually an oppressive country or brutal army. But if I am reading this Psalm through the lens of resurrection, I could just as easily be to blame. My own unhealthy habits or internal expectations could be the “THEY.” Let me explain. If I am consistently resting in the Creator, to let God be my fortress, and finding my salvation in God alone, then I am truly living into the person God has called me to be. But I am here to tell you that I don’t always nor do I consistently do this. Because sometimes I have created my own fortress of people pleasing tendencies. Or my pastoring and my abilities to live into that calling has become my salvation. Or my rest is based on earning rather than being. When this happens, I am far from resting in God because I have made myself the Lord of my own life, not Jesus.

As I was processing this Psalm, I came across a post from another pastor mentor of mine who quoted these words from one of her favorite authors, Nicola Jane Hobbs.

“Instead of asking, ‘Have I worked hard enough to deserve to rest? I’ve started asking, ‘Have I rested enough to do my most loving, meaningful work?”

What powerful words that really flip the script on our desperate need to find rest in the real life-giving way God intended it to be. I won’t always get this right, but these words hit me deep. This mixed with my own exhaustion and the words of Psalm 62, it seems like God might be trying to tell me something…huh…I wonder.