I sought the Lord and he answered me.
He delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to God will shine;
their faces are never ashamed.
This suffering person cried out:
the Lord listened and saved him from every trouble. – Psalm 34:4-6 (CEB)
The pens have all disappeared from my desk. Does that happen to you, too? I have a couple of places that I make sure to keep pens, and at least once a week gather the pens scattered around my office, returning them to those locations. As I write this today, though, my usual places are barren of pens and my pen drawer is nearly empty. I am not sure where they have all gone. Just yesterday they seemed plentiful, but not today. Pens have a habit of disappearing, don’t they?
How often does it seem that way with so many things in life? There seems to be plenty until suddenly there isn’t. We have ways to manage and cope that work well enough until suddenly they don’t. Things can turn on a dime. Sometimes this is with minor things like pens on a desk, other times with more serious issues. How do we respond to the sense of everything slipping away?
The Psalms are always worth returning to, because they deal with the whole range of emotional states we find ourselves in. Psalm 34 is a Psalm of giving thanks for deliverance from trouble. It’s written quite generally so that it can easily be applied to many situations. It serves as a reminder of how often life can feel like it is spinning out of control, and yet how often things do turn out to be just fine. It is worth more than a quick “thank God” when we recognize how consistently God holds us together when so easily everything could fall apart. I don’t know if that means that I will find where all of my pens have gone, but it does serve to remind me that God’s with me through things great and small.