The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands. Psalm 138:8
It is a psalm of striking beauty and grace. The author’s heart overflows with gratitude to God for caring him through difficult times. It is as if the poet is a child who speaks to the most loving Father; the parental love is unconditional and it lifts, shields, and guides. This relationship is filled with pure love and the promise of God’s kingdom.
I have found the psalm deeply moving—it portrays the God I often think of, especially when I am in the sanctuary at St. Paul’s, sometimes on a busy Sunday morning, sometimes when it’s completely empty. I “bow down toward his holy temple” and become filled with thankfulness for the life I have been given in its entirety.
The poetry perfectly captures my conversation with my Maker in those moments; the psalm verses are the soft light that pours into the sanctuary through the stained glass windows; it pushes the scary darkness of the unknown aside.
I thank God for protecting my children, for restoring health to my loved ones, for listening to my prayers. I realize through my own parenting experience that I will most likely never know all the foes God has shielded me from; or will I ever comprehend how many times He saved my life (I am aware of only two instances). I just know and cherish that His love is unfailing.
My Father, please keep our parish and my family safe and do “not abandon the work of Your hands.” Amen.