Where do people turn when they encounter struggles in their lives? I know that some people withdraw. Some people turn to friends or coworkers. Some look for books that might help. Others turn to drugs. Yet others turn to pornography or gambling or other addictive behaviors. Some people look to initiate newer, less complicated relationships. Some turn toward God. Think about to whom or where you would turn in a time of difficulty and struggle.
In today’s reading, the psalmist celebrates God’s sovereignty and the power and strength that accompanies God’s rule. I find it remarkable that he notes, “The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, ‘Glory!’” The psalmist encourages his people to see God’s power, majesty, and glory exemplified in this amazing storm, in God’s raw power simply by speaking.
Can we sense God’s presence in the midst of struggle? Will we take the psalmist’s counsel and look for the power and majesty and glory of God, even in the midst of turbulent life circumstances? The psalmist prays for strength and peace: “May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!”
If you find yourself in the midst of struggles, draw from the psalmist’s wisdom and look for God at work in the midst of those experiences. If not, pray for people you know who are struggling. Personalize your prayer for them using the psalm: May the Lord give strength to __________ (insert the name). May the Lord bless ________ with peace! Whom can you bless today by praying for them by name?
O mighty and majestic Lord, bless us with renewed strength and abiding peace. Amen.