August 22, 2019
Psalm 71:1-6 (NASB)
by Pam Sutherland
Co-Pastor of Wabash Circuit
New River District
“In Thee, O LORD, I have taken refuge; Let me never be ashamed. In Thy righteousness deliver me, and rescue me; Incline Thine ear to me, and save me. Be Thou to me a rock of habitation, to which I may continually come; Thou has given Commandment to save me, For thou art my rock and my fortress, Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the grasp of the wrongdoer and ruthless man. For thou art my hope; O Lord God, Thou art my confidence from my youth. By Thee I have been sustained from my birth; Thou art He who took me from my mother’s womb; My praise is continually of Thee.” Psalm 71:1-6 (NASB)
Shortly after my late husband and I gave our lives to the LORD 36 years ago, he bought me a New American Standard Bible (Master Study Edition) for my birthday. It was the first Bible I really read and studied. Although its pages are tattered and torn, and I have a dozen or so other Bibles in different translations now, I still go back to it when I need comfort and reassurance. Passages of Scripture are highlighted and underlined. The margins contain handwritten notes from sermons I heard or Bible studies I attended.
But in the Psalms, there are dates. Whenever I was going through a rough time in my life; whenever I needed to be rescued or delivered; whenever a situation seemed too much to bear, I would find a Psalm that reflected my hearts cry to God and after praying through it, I would date it. Now, when I need God’s help, when I need reassurance of God’s presence in the midst of my trouble, when I feel I just can’t bear up under the pressures of life, as I flip through the Psalms I see the dates, I read the passage, and I remember the situations, the heartache, the trouble I experienced in the past, and I reflect on the fact that time and time again, God truly was my refuge, my rock, my fortress, my hope. I remember how he rescued and sustained me in those times, and I am reassured and comforted, knowing God will always be a “rock of habitation to which I may continually come” no matter what I may be going through today.
Loving God, remind us often of the ways you have been a rock and a fortress for us when life gets hard, so that we may continue to trust you to rescue and deliver us from whatever comes our way today. Amen.