Psalm 71:1-6 (NRSV)
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Verse 1In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame.
Verse 2In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me and save me.
Verse 3Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
Verse 4Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.
Verse 5For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Verse 6Upon you I have leaned from my birth; it was you who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of you.
Even for the most beloved and successful among us, there are days of despair and loneliness. In those times when we feel lost and abandoned, it is heartening to pray the words of Psalm 71. What better refuge or fortress could we ask for than God our Rock? This is the same God who created us in the womb and knew us even before we were born. This is the same God whose righteousness is perfect, whose victory is certain, and who alone is worthy of praise. When facing fear, obstacles, or hardship, we find our eternal God a constant presence upon whom we are welcome to lean and in whom we can trust. All it takes is one or two attempts to go it alone before it becomes obvious that our ability to control is, at best, temporary and, at worst, downright dangerous!
O God, you are a mighty fortress and a refuge in our hour of need. Call us into your presence for renewal and hope when we are struggling with despair, loneliness, or failure. In the name of Christ. Amen.