Psalm 123

I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven. As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy. Have mercy on us, O LORD, have mercy on us, for we have endured much contempt. We have endured much ridicule from the proud, much contempt from the arrogant.

Once in a great while, there comes a time when we find ourselves totally out of control of the events around us. It may be an accident or illness bringing our life to a stand still, or even the sudden and unexpected death of a loved one.

The most helpless I’ve ever felt was watching as my crying child was carried off to surgery by the nurses, reaching out with his eyes while I stood there unable to do anything. I’ve seen dads beg the Lord for permission to take their child’s place in those circumstances. But at least I could pray. I often wonder what goes through the minds of the non-believers of the world during those times. You and I can look to the Lord for comfort and reassurance when times are tough, but they have to get through them on their own.

Most of the time, they ridicule us from their position of self-sufficiency. They see our religion as a crutch, and scoff at our need for it. But when they’ve come to the end of their rope, I’ve heard them crying out to a God they’ve chosen not to know, as they finally realize that no one’s really self-sufficient. That’s when I know that I would not want to face tragedy alone.

Paul called himself a bond slave to Jesus Christ. That means he voluntarily dedicated his life to servitude, yielding up total control of His life to the One he called Master. To us he wrote, “You are not your own. You were bought at a price.” (1 Cor. 6:19-20) When events in my life have spiraled beyond my control, I’m only too happy to acknowledge the rights of the One who bought me with His blood, knowing that He’ll assert Himself on my behalf. As King David wrote, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” (Psalm 23:4). It brings a level of comfort that unbelievers can never experience.