Psalm 31.9-16

Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress;

                my eye wastes away from grief, my soul and body also.

For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing;

                my strength fails because of my misery, and my bones waste away.

I am the scorn of all my adversaries, a horror to my neighbors,

                an object of dread to my acquaintances;

                those who see me in the street flee from me.

I have passed out of mind like one who is dead;

I have become like a broken vessel.

                For I hear the whispering of many– terror all around!—

                as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.

But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.”

My times are in your hand;

                deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.

Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love.


From Rev. Earl Shaw

Minister of the Word for the Region

In Joan Stott’s writing “The Timeless Psalms”, she describes a bleak picture of the man of whom she writes, claiming him to be in a state of personal lament due to the state of his immediate personal affairs. He appears to be seriously ill or possibly even close to death and he is telling God how he really feels physically, emotionally, and spiritually.   In the midst of his talking with God, he cries out, “Lord, be for me a great rock of safety.” This is a man who has faithfully lived his life in God’s “own circle of unfailing love.” And, as he prayed he cried out “God, Save Me,” through all his angst and despair until, at last, he is able to let go.

The Psalmist’s prayer benefits each of us just as it was to benefit our Lord and Savior as He was led to the cross.   Do we, too, not also try to understand and explain the “Faithfulness of God?” A God whose love is unfaltering, unwavering, unyielding, and unquestioning. A God who reaches out and enters in both at the same time. A God whose love for all creation is second to no other.

The Psalmist’s prayer does not end with him. It is a prayer for all people of all time, regardless of their fears, reservations, age, or ailments to yet be able to cling to God, saying, I Love You, I Trust You, my future is in your hands.


O God, release me from my anxieties and bring me into a new-found place free of doubt and worry. “Make Your face shine upon Your servant; Save me for Your mercies sake.” Amen.