When I felt secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”
Lord, when you favored me,
you made my royal mountain stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.
To you, Lord, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:
“What is gained if I am silenced,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;
Lord, be my help.”
You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
It would be easy, I think, to read this passage as the chronological account of a lifetime – an epic narrative about overcoming huge, life-altering obstacles and finding redemption and victory through the grace of God. To me, though, the real power of this passage is in its reflection of the small, commonplace, everyday experiences. At various points throughout each day, there are countless times I feel secure, dismayed, or joyful, often back-to-back and in every possible order.
Moving through the comfortable familiarity of my morning routine, or singing along to the radio during a long drive, I find myself feeling confident, secure – sometimes in gratitude, sometimes complacency – and thinking “I will never be shaken.”
Counting down the hours left in a particularly tough day at work, or facing the anxieties of car trouble, harassment, or a struggling family member, I’ve been known to dramatically take the cry-to-the-Lord-for-mercy, “What is gained if I am silenced?” approach.
Finding each day’s moments of joy, while reaching the summit of a beautiful hiking trail, conquering an exciting new recipe for dinner, or laughing so hard I cry, makes it easy to feel a wonderful, sometimes literal sense of wailing turned into dancing, of saying “Lord my God, I will praise you forever.”
Outside of the structure of worship at church or dedicated time for prayer and reflection, it can be challenging to actively recognize God in all the small moments of day-to-day life. Maybe it’s just me, but there are a lot of days I find myself saying a quick prayer before dinner, realizing it’s the first time I’ve really thought about God all day.
The easily-identifiable moments of dismay or joy tend to be good reminders for me that there’s a beauty in weaving faith and prayer into daily life, in finding a couple quiet minutes or even quick 2-second breaks to invite God into my life at that exact moment, in whatever state I happen to be, just to share that time together.
Here’s a prayer for today:
Holy One, teach us to pray without ceasing. Teach us to share the fullness of our lives with You. Amen.
Today’s devotional comes from Sienna Wdowik. Sienna is a member of the Immanuel in the Evening band.