Psalm 27 is one of my very favorite Psalms. Really I have a lot of favorites. Ok really I love the Psalms in general. I love their poetry and fire, the deep laments and the joyous shouts of praise. And so I have been reading through them again in this season, and I hit upon this favorite.
Psalm 27 has been meaningful to me in many ways and different times. It challenges me to check my deep desire and course-corrects me when I get distracted in my intentions.
I want my only desire to be to “dwell in the house of the Lord forever,” soaking in his majesty, beauty and goodness. I want to sit in his presence in each of those aspects, not just one. And when I do, my heart does say, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.” It has been a refrain I preach to my soul, reminding myself that when I seek the Lord, he has promised to be found. This is to say just a few things I’ve learned in meditating on this Psalm.
But this week as I read this one, at of course just the right time the way our good God orchestrates, I was hit in the face (in a good way) by verse 13: “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the lands of the living.” As I was reading this going to bed, I almost jumped up and shouted “I HAVE!! I have seen the goodness of the Lord!!” Of course there are so so many ways we could share and recount the goodness of God, most pointedly of course our savior Jesus. But the past few weeks have been an ocean tide of glorious goodness that could only come from God in the life of my dear little Hope*.
I have witnessed miracle after miracle in her life, each a bigger and brighter testament to our Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Her life has been hard. Hope is a little girl whom I met just a few months ago, and I have witnessed the Lord’s goodness in countless ways. The happy ending to the way her story has overlapped with mine is her reunion with her family! She took a piece of my heart with her when she left, but left a remnant of her namesake, hope, in my life here.
I witnessed her rescued out of a hopeless and dangerous home.
I witnessed her loved in ways she had forgotten were possible.
I witnessed the Lord teach her to trust and love again.
I witnessed her learn to love the Lord for herself.
I witnessed governments open doors they said were closed.
I witnessed an insurmountable mountain of bureaucracy move aside in mere months instead of years.
I witnessed her saved from another dangerous situation.
I saw the goodness of the lord in her protection as a foreigner in a strange and hopeless land.
*name changed for her protection
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?
2 When the wicked advance against me
to devour[a] me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
4 One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.
6 Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.
7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.
13 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.