Students sitting outside Bockman
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Tuesday, August 04, 2015

While visiting a dying woman and her husband, I heard him ask her, "Are you afraid?" She shook her head gently and quoted, "The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him." A moment later, recovering her breath, she added, "Well, since I fear God, I don't fear death. So it's a good fear." A good fear! Even though the psalmist has experienced terror, affliction, and troubles, we are invited to join in proclaiming God's greatness and to "taste and see that the Lord is good." Even in the midst of troubles, God blesses those who find refuge in God.

We are reminded that it is not the presence of good that is God, but the presence of God that is good. It may be just a taste, like Elijah's small cakes in yesterday's reading, but that is enough for us to receive and trust the fullness of God's goodness.

God of our sustenance, give me a taste of your goodness, that I might grow in good fear of you. Amen.

Bryan Woken
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, West Hills, Calif.
Master of Divinity , 1984

Psalm 34:1-8 (NRSV)

1 I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.
3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord, and was saved from every trouble.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8 O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.