Wednesday 31 October 2018

Bible Book:

O my God, in you I trust (v. 2)

Psalm 25 Wednesday 31 October 2018


This summer was long and warm with much opportunity for working outside and for using the hammock my American friends persuaded me was a good idea when we visited last summer. Our manse has a garden with some hammock-friendly trees in it. It is a good place to read and pray. However, getting into the hammock is a matter of joyful leaping and rolling – if you are aged 10 and confident in your tree to personal weight ratio. Not being so confident, I approach with respect and check the straps and fixings. I remember what it was like last time. I sit on the hammock’s edge and allow my weight to be absorbed before swinging my legs in and remind myself how strong it is and how good it feels to be reading, swaying gently under the trees. I learn to trust by testing and remembering.

Sometimes a highly formal approach to prayer and praise can help to marshal our thoughts, attitudes and intentions in a Godward manner. I say this through gritted teeth as I love the spontaneity of a soaring heart and the shower of praise and prayer that descends into the mind like a fountain. However, I also know that there are times when careful, plotted and precise approaches to God encourage my slower heart and unwilling spirit to do what is right. Psalm 25 embodies such formality. One of the acrostic psalms, it falls into three distinct sections: Verses 1 to 7 are addressing God, 8 to 15 are about God, 16 to 22 address God. Verses 11 and 22 cut into the pattern with prayer, verse 22 not following the acrostic at all!

Throughout the psalm, there is no real release or realisation. Instead, there is a determined focus on God and his trustworthiness. In the absence of relief from the present issues and situations, we continue to know that God doesn’t change and that his love and care remain constant.

Just as we practise our crafts such as music, athletic skills, dancing or even card tricks over and over until they are perfect, so the psalmist carefully lays down the facts of God’s care and their own trust in God. Trust is learnt and practised, both as giver and receiver. It develops in confidence and size as it is proved right again and again.


To Ponder

  •  Consider what it takes to learn to trust a person.
  • Think about your own trustworthiness. Is it constant or do certain factors alter its reliability?
  • In what ways has your trust in God changed over the years?
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