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This is a psalm of lamentation, but it is also one of anticipation and celebration. It’s always so interesting how often all three sentiments can coexist, in both poetry and our daily lives. The psalmist is speaking from a place of dissatisfaction and sorrow. He is homesick and longs to be rescued. Yet, even in this sorrowful state, as he begins to focus on God and the hope he holds for his future, his disposition starts to change too. He praises God for the things he has done, and because he knows God’s character and understands the way his promises work, he is able to praise God for what is to come as well. He knows that rescue is not the only thing on the horizon, but everything else that follows God around: love, goodness, peace, justice, and blessings.
There is so much to learn from this expectant and ever-praising psalmist. He reminds us that it’s okay to grieve and ask God for a change of circumstances – but even in the most sorrowful of situations, God can still be praised. The psalmist also reminds us of the hope we have in Jesus, and that we have been rescued! And as followers of God, who are intimately acquainted with those qualities that define his presence and kingdom, this means that we, too, must become spreaders of love, goodness, peace, justice, and blessings.
Good Father, thank you for rescuing us and calling us your own. Thank you for your love, goodness, peace, justice, compassion, and grace. Help us to always look to your example as we interact with your creation and introduce people to you through both our words and our actions. Amen.