There was a time in my life when I could have written these verses. The personal desolation of the first twenty-one verses describes the circumstances of the last seventeen years of my life. It began with the murder of a beloved family member and spiraled downward from there.
But when the grief would have overwhelmed me - swallowed me whole - the words of an old hymn built upon verses twenty-two and twenty-three seemed to rise up out of my spirit. The music and theology in that hymn buoyed my spirit to survive the waves of sorrow.
In 1972, Malcolm Smith published a book entitled Turn Your Back on the Problem. The premise was that you will be overwhelmed as long as you focus on the problem. But when you quit looking at the problem and start looking toward God, things fall into a different perspective.
No matter what the circumstances are, God is the faithful rock upon which we can build our hope. He is the source of all our strength. He deals mercifully with us. And He starts again each morning as if it were the first morning of creation.
Great is His faithfulness. Let us begin being faithful to Him.
Grant us the wisdom and strength to keep our eyes upon You in every circumstance. Help us to focus our attention on Who You are, not on what is going on with us, within us and around us.
In Jesus' most precious name.