Six months seems like a long time to spend reading one Psalm. Perhaps I am a slow and sluggish learner – I know I am good at forgetting. I have read Psalm 27 again and again, pondered it, written a bible study on it, lead a bible study on it, prayed for friends, family and myself using the words of this Psalm and read through the meditations contained in this remarkable book written by Paul David Tripp “A Shelter in the time of storm: meditations on God and trouble“.
Tripp has written 52 short meditations on Psalm 27 – they are thoughtful, honest and encouraging. I would read the Psalm and then the next meditation. Interestingly, it was often the verse that jumped out at me, or some new thought or question I had that Tripp raised in his devotion – I felt like he walked with me and helped answer questions.
My life is blessed with much to be thankful for, however, there are times when I weep for the sadnesses and despairs in the lives of those around me. This Psalm has helped me walk with them, and remind myself of things I know to be true – I simply need reminding. The words written by David in Psalm 27 are profound. He wrote it in the midst of a time when he felt completely alone and abandoned and yet, his faith and trust in the Lord shine out. He longs for a time when he can simply be in the presence of the Lord but has learnt that hard lesson of waiting. Waiting is one of the hardest things we are asked to do.
Aren’t we raised in a “quick fix” and “instant gratification” world? We are not good at sitting in the mess, in the chaos, in the sadness and wait and remember what we know to be true about God. We just want things to be better but sometimes they don’t get better, or not right away. There is a message for all of us in this Psalm. Even if you are not going through hard times, it is good to have the framework that David has. He is confident that the Lord is his light and salvation. He longs for things to be different, but he is able to wait by reminding himself of what he knows to be true – that the Lord is his stronghold and rock, protector, and the source of all goodness – he has nothing to fear.
Paul David Tripp is a wonderful writer. This book is a helpful companion if you want to try reading the bible very slowly. You might think you will get bored, but that is one of the beauties of God’s word – it is alive and speaks afresh every day! Each meditation concludes with two questions to ponder.