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Fear & Trust

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“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?…I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.”
–Psalm 27:1, 13-14

Psalm 27 is one of my ‘go to’ scriptures when I need to be reminded of God’s guiding presence and strength in life.  Above are the first and last verses of the Psalm.  To get the full flavor of this Psalm, I invite you to read it in its entirety.

This Psalm speaks honestly about the delicate balance between fear and trust.  The Psalmist begins by speaking of God as “light,” “salvation,” and as a “stronghold;” then moves on to speak about “evildoers” and “adversaries;” then back to God as a “hiding place” and “shelter.”  The Psalmist continues in speaking about how God “teaches” and “leads,” keeping us on a “level path.”

Psalm 27 makes a good affirmation of our faith as we place our trust in God, even when we are fearful and facing adversity or adversaries.  One writer says that in this Psalm, “real fear lives alongside honest faith” and that “real doubt holds hands with genuine trust.”  That seems like it captures life in a nutshell at times…fear and faith…doubt and trust.

Finally, the Psalmist affirms the belief of seeing God’s goodness “in the land of the living,” and invites us to “wait” for God, to “be strong,” and to let our hearts “take courage.”

In this week, may we reflect on how and where we see fear and doubt going hand and hand with faith and trust in our lives and in life around us.