The winds are roaring outside and the snow is falling. Forecasts call for the snow to continue for the next five hours with the winds reaching forty-five miles per hour. As I watch the storm build, I reflect on verses from Psalm 16 that remind me of the good we receive from the Lord. Even in the darkest hours, when job prospects may be sparse and relationships may be hazardous places to venture, he provides hope and reveals the path to refuge and life. The apostle Peter quoted this Psalm in his sermon on that first Pentecost after Christ arose and ascended back to heaven. He directed his hearers to this verse of prayer as he spoke of the resurrection of Jesus:
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
While Peter focuses on the promise of resurrection, the psalmist rejoices in God’s promise of refuge and life for his worshippers. He prays for salvation from the Lord, and rejoices in the fellowship he enjoys with other followers of God:
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.
I shudder often, painfully aware of my ineptness in communicating to others and of my failure to hear fully their hurt. It is too easy to give in to the temptation to provide easy, pat answers that seem so certain to me, but appear to confuse or even anger others. I don’t know their pain as they do not know my experience or my own pain. I can only guess and lean heavily upon the source of my direction. I value highly time with other believers. I can only hope that they realize how much they encourage me with their songs, their smiles, and most of all with their presence. With the psalmist,
I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
The world outside my window turns progressively snowier as I write. The temperature will drop steadily through the rest of the day. My schedule for today has been altered dramatically. There are forces in our world that we cannot ignore, times when we must halt, when we must listen, and when we must worship the God whom we thank when we realize and pray:
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
• Bible quotations are from Psalm 16 in the English Standard Version.
O Creator of all the seasons, As the snow falls, it obscures our roads. We cannot discern as well what path is safest. Our emotions, particularly our fear, act like snow to hide our paths. Clear our paths that we may choose wisely and well. Remove the burdens of our hearts and free our lips to sing your praise as we rejoice in your presence and the company of fellow believers. Forgive our slowness to learn and motivate us more strongly to listen quietly, to speak softly, and to forgive. In Jesus’ name, amen