‘How long, Lord, will you leave me forgotten,
how long hide your face from me?
How long must I suffer anguish in my soul,
grief in my heart day after day?
How long will my enemy lord it over me?
Look now, Lord my God, and answer me.
Give light to my eyes lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, ‘I have overthrown him,’
and my adversaries rejoice at my downfall.
As for me, I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart will rejoice when I am brought to safety.
I shall sing to the Lord, for he has granted all my desire.’ (Psalm 13.1-6 REB)
This is one of those prayers that are very useful to have in your back pocket for when you need them. It seems to be written in a military context; the author has enemies who are out to get him, and he’s in real danger of being defeated by them. But of course ‘enemies’ come in all shapes and sizes, not just armies and uniforms. Maybe we’re facing a dangerous illness, the threat of job loss, the scorn of others. Maybe we’re struggling with our own inner demons, sins or addictions. And there’s always the ‘enemy of our souls’.
‘As for me, I trust in your unfailing love’. Lord, for me, that’s something I aspire to. I don’t always trust you as I would like. To be honest, that’s partly because not everyone who trusts you seems to be ‘brought to safety’. I”m on a journey. Each day, for me, is full of opportunities to learn to trust you.
So when I’m facing my fears and struggles and inner demons, help me ‘trust in your unfailing love’. Help me simply turn to you, take your hand, and walk with you through whatever ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’ appear to be heading my way. And bless all who are facing enemies who terrify them today, and bring them also to a place of safety. Amen.
(today’s One Year Bible readings are Genesis 31:17-32:12, Matthew 10:24-11:6, Psalm 13:1-6, and Proverbs 3:16-18)