Scripture: Psalm 12
Key verse: (1) “Help, O LORD, for there is no longer anyone who is godly; the faithful have disappeared from humankind.”
Reflection: Throughout the bible, the faithful often get discouraged at the state of the world around them. Moses confided in God about his frustrations with the people, Elijah wept alone in a cave, and Jonah wished God’s wrath upon the unfaithful of an entire city. I’ve heard and seen similar words and actions in our times with people claiming that they are the only ones left who could possibly know and follow God’s will. The world is doomed, the wicked are winning, the faithful is down to … me. Really? Do we really think that this line of thinking is faithful?
Recently, when author Christena Cleveland came to visit she talked about how harmful this line of thinking really is. When we think we are the only faithful ones left and that the world as we know it depends upon our individual action alone, we are thinking too highly of ourselves, too lowly of others, and we are leaving God out of the equation. While stresses, change, and injustice can feel overwhelming, may we never forget that we are not alone. The Psalmist in this passage, while greatly distressed, does acknowledge that help comes from God saying, “You, O LORD, will protect us; you will guard us from this generation forever.” (12:7)
Trusting in God’s goodness and action, we are able to hold grief and hope together, acknowledging our grief in the world around us, but hoping and trusting in God who holds all things together. In this tension we find faith, not in our own ability to problem solve but in God who is creator, sustainer, and redeemer of all things. May we find peace in the midst of the anxieties of the world trusting in this God who holds us all.
Prayer: Faithful God, we bring to you our frustrations, our grief, our fears. May we turn these over to you, trusting in your actions and faithfulness. Calm our hearts and minds, open our eyes to see that we are not on this journey alone, and quicken our steps that we may follow you with humble joy. Amen.
Author: John Magnuson
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].