How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. (Psalm 36:7)
This psalm in its entirety highlights the magnanimity of God’s response to man. It notes that despite human fallibility as manifested in our behavior. He metes out justice tempered by his abiding and unconditional/non-partial love, and there is every opportunity for redemption, once we understand and accept that.
Mapping the verse, through contextualization and defining key words and phrases, I have personalized it as follows:
How impossible it is to put value on your limitless and inexhaustible love toward me, O God! I can take sanctuary and respite from distress in the the cover of Your all-powerful existence, in order to rise above challenges and overcome adversity.
The term love here represents agape, because it derives from God — this love is unconditional, non-partial/non-discriminatory, and sacrificial when contrasted with “phileo” or brotherly love, or the common definition of love between humans.
As I have throughout my life, I’ve had my share of trial this past couple of years. With the intervention of God, and the collective prayers of myself and others, I have experienced many bright spots, and certainly have a greater appreciation of those blessings because often they have been hard-won.
I really struggle to learn to balance praise and thanksgiving for the blessings that come, with calls for fortitude and grace when the storms supplant the sunlight.
Mostly, I feel that I am making great strides in my journey of faith, yet there are days that offer challenges that throw me off-stride. These are the times when I know I need to regroup and seek solace in Him. Now, when I stumble, I first ask the Spirit and look to the Scriptures for inspiration for my prayers.
The beauty of seeking “refuge in the shadow of His wings,” is that His protection can be extended in its scope through the intervention of others as well:
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. They will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. (Psalms 91:12, NIV)
Further, there are distinct personal benefits to be derived by weathering the storms:
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Romans 5:3-5, NIV)
The promises of these truths, and putting them into practice allows us to better weather the storms of the future.
Lord, let me not despair in my misery. Rather, let me always remember me that Your abiding love ensures that I will not repeatedly strike my foot against a rock, and that this priceless love allows me to persist in faith during times of trial. Ultimately, let me remember that the ability to endure will reinforce itself through building the necessary disposition in me that retains optimism in a love that always delivers. In Jesus’ name, I pray, AMEN.