Psalm 20

You know how sometimes you read a passage of Scripture, but the words feel foreign to you?  You know that the words are true, but it's difficult to connect with them.  I'm having one of those moments today reading Psalm 20.

You see, my law school experienced its second depression-related death in a month.  It's a small community to begin with.  When the first died, it was a tragedy.  After the second?  There are no words.  Those who remain know and understand the stress of law school.  We know, too, that there is also life outside of law school, which comes with trials of its own. 

People want answers.  But more than answers, they want to know that everything is OK.  That their loved ones are "in a better place."  That they are "looking down on us."  That one day, we'll all be reunited again.  People don't really want answers.  They want reassurance.

And I can't give it to them.

That's why passages like this are hard.

"May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
    May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!"

"May he grant you your heart's desire
    and fulfill all your plans!"

These are blessings and prayers.

Not promises.

We will experience trials and suffering of all kinds.  1 Peter 1 tells us this.  We serve a man who was poor, and homeless, and who allowed himself to be murdered.  No man is greater than his master.

But there IS a promise we can hold onto:

Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed;
    he will answer him from his holy heaven
    with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
     but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They collapse and fall,
    but we rise and stand upright.

We can trust God for what we need.  I have salvation, and these deaths make me so much more thankful for this gift I did not deserve.  The gift I could not take for myself.  The gift given to me, and that I have received.  And because I have been given that gift, because I have received His spirit as the seal of my inheritance, I know that I am anointed.  I know that the Lord will save me.

There are many things that vie for my trust, but I will trust in the name of the Lord my God.

Therefore, I can "shout for joy" over my salvation.