Psalm 31:7 I will exult and rejoice in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have taken heed of my adversities, 8 and have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place. 9 Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eye wastes away from grief, my soul and body also.
I’m struck by the apparent contradiction of this passage. In verses 7-8 David (to whom this psalm is attributed) expresses confidence that God will deliver him from distress. Yet v.9 makes it clear that relief is a still hope, not a reality.
There’s faith and fear in three verses.
My mind goes to the story (picture above) of the apostle Peter who, when he saw Jesus walking on water, asked Jesus to call him onto the water as well. It was a bold request and Jesus obliged Peter. Yet after taking some steps on the water, fear invaded Peter’s mind and he began to sink.
Faith and fear.
I suppose in a perfect world we would experience only faith, not fear. But I don’t think that’s likely to happen – at least not for me. Perhaps, rather than chastise myself for experiencing fear, I can accept it as part of being human. And maybe God can use me despite my fear.
Lord let it be so. Amen.