Psalm 27: Tetromino
The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.
Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior. Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations.
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
Where do you go when life gets complicated? When life throws you a curveball, what do you do? We all have something that we run to when we're stressed, depressed, confused, or worried. It looks different depending on who you ask.
For some people it's food.
Others it is exercise.
Maybe it's video games, tv, or YouTube.
Or maybe it's something that is really not good for you. Maybe it's alcohol or drugs.
For me, my reaction to stressful situations is to play Tetris. Yeah you read that right.
I've played so much over the past 10+ years that I've gotten pretty instinctually good at it. I can play Tetris while other things are happening. It's honestly fairly relaxing. Even this weekend when I got some stressful news I found myself playing Tetris, something that I hadn't done in a while.
But all of these things are not what we need. When life gets tough, running to these things is at best unhelpful and at worst unhealthy. Tetris is fun and all, but it's not going to change my situation.
David's rock during hard times is surprisingly not Tetris (WHAT!?). No. David runs to God when life makes no sense. In times where he should be afraid for his life, he says:
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
God is his stronghold or fortress. I don't know about you, but there is nothing more fun when you're a kid than making a fort out of pillows and blankets and couch cushions. It makes you feel fortified and like you have your own safe space. For David, he sees God as that fortress that cannot be broken. David puts his faith in God to the point where even if David were to be captured and killed, it would be okay because he will be with God. The reason we as Christians don't need to fear is that even the worst case situations lead to us being with Jesus.
But David's faith in God is even stronger. He says: I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
By land of the living, David means on this side of eternity. David won't need to die in order to see God's goodness, God is already making things new. God is already at work.
David's psalm encourages God's people to both seek God's face and wait on Him. We should be seeking God and always try to grow closer to Him, know more about Him, and become more like Him. But we should also have the faith to wait on Him. We need to have faith that God will keep His promises. Life doesn't always turn out how we think it should, but God will redeem those situations for His glory. We just need to put our trust in Him.
Challenge: Who do you run to when life is tough? What are the healthy and unhealthy things you do during hard times? Some of those things may be good things (i.e. talking to a friend, getting exercise, etc) but what is the FIRST thing you go to? Whatever that thing is, give it over to God. Ask Him to reorient your priorities so that He is number one. God is both our comfort and our strength. He can comfort us while having the power to change our situation.