The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
Psalm 27 is about trusting in the Lord, and believing that we are safe when we are in his holy temple. Trust is integral to faith, courage, and hope. We can have courage when the Lord is our stronghold, and when we walk in his light we have hope. Realizing that we need not fear our enemies, we can then try to understand them, with hope that compassion may well up in us.
As we acknowledge the divisions in our country, our families, and in our own hearts, we can trust that faith in God will help us to see each other as God sees each of us. We may not be able to forgive each other yet, but we can ask God for the grace to see all as children of light, and give us hearts to feel God’s compassion for us all.
Being saved from the affliction of hard-heartedness is a theme throughout scripture, particularly in the story of the exodus. God repeatedly hardens Pharaoh’s heart. The idea that God would use Pharaoh in this way to bring about the destruction of the Egyptian army always shook me. We may choose if we wish to follow his will or our own. Pharaoh’s choice to place his own will above God led to his army’s demise, and the liberation of the Hebrew people. In whom shall we trust?
I pray with the psalmist David for the desire to cling to God as stronghold: “Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” v. 14.