Tag: Psalm 61
Ep.141: Psalm 61: Refuge and Refugees.
Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.
Psalm 61 is a poignant statement of faith. Listen to the poet’s prayer:
From the ends of the earth I call to you,
when my heart is overwhelmed;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the foe (vv. 2-3).
Do you experience that same feeling: “From the ends of the earth I call to you when my heart is overwhelmed.” I don’t often get to the geographical ends of the earth, but like the poet I bump into my emotional limits and get overwhelmed.
What brings you to the “ends of the earth” where you feel overwhelmed and far from God? Maybe anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder. Or cancer? Perhaps it’s money: you don’t know where the next paycheck is coming from, unable to accumulate savings, buried under a pile of debt. Perhaps it’s the relational crises of your life–marriage not so good, kids are wayward, neighbours are jerks. Maybe it’s family who judge and avoid you. Or maybe it’s God: you are not sure if he exists, and if he does, why doesn’t he listen to you and care about you?
Whatever makes you alone and isolated–bring it to this psalm. Are you at the end of your wits? At the ends of the earth? Overwhelmed? Then say with the poet, “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Yes, that’s what we need when earthquakes shake us, when troubles frighten, when waves of stress threaten to drown us. We need a rock to stand on, a firm place to plant our feet, some solid ground where we can look around, take our bearings, and find relief.
The poet says, “That firm place is you, O God. You have been my refuge, a strong tower against my foes.”
Our father, we are refugees, driven from the homes we tried to build. We imagined happy and fulfilling lives but we have ended up with disturbed states of mind and body, in a world without answers.
We are refugees from church, driven into the wilderness by doctrines we can’t accept and rules that judge us.
We are refugees from families that misunderstand and avoid us.
O Jesus, we are all refugees in many ways.
Lead us, we pray, to the rock that is higher than us. Be a refuge for the refugees, bring us to your tent, shelter us under your wings of protection and comfort.
We pray for the lonely elderly whose care facilities are locked down. In their loneliness and fear, be their refuge.
We pray for health care workers in masks and hazmat suits, caring for the sick, watching people die. Be their strong tower.
We pray for the unemployed, watching television at home as bills pile up. Make their home a tent where they dwell with you.
We pray for refugees, far from home and family, scarred by violence and abuse. Protect them in the shelter of your wings.
We pray for ourselves when we are overwhelmed. Lead us to the rock that is higher than us.
I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.