Psalm 66:8-20 (NRSV)
Verse 8Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard,
Verse 9who has kept us among the living, and has not let our feet slip.
Verse 10For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.
Verse 11You brought us into the net; you laid burdens on our backs;
Verse 12you let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.
Verse 13I will come into your house with burnt offerings; I will pay you my vows,
Verse 14those that my lips uttered and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
Verse 15I will offer to you burnt offerings of fatlings, with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams; I will make an offering of bulls and goats. Selah
Verse 16Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for me.
Verse 17I cried aloud to him, and he was extolled with my tongue.
Verse 18If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
Verse 19But truly God has listened; he has given heed to the words of my prayer.
Verse 20Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me.
Swimming has never been one of my strengths. I never felt comfortable in the water, disliking to put my face under water or opening my eyes fearing that I might be struck blind. I felt much safer on dry ground with not only my head but my entire body above the water. Until I went snorkeling, still uncomfortable in the water, but glad I took the plunge and saw some beautiful sights that I would have never seen had I just stayed on the surface. The writer of this psalm challenges people on their faith journeys to dig deep, ask the difficult questions, and be open to surprising answers. The psalmist notes the need to trust in a God of steadfast love who has brought us faithfully even through the fearful challenges of deep waters to places of safety. “Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!” (verse 20)
Spirit of the living God, continue to fall afresh on me. Amen.