Devotional by Stephen Estock

April 21, 2014

Whether the root cause is busyness or faithless anxiety, sometimes the mind races with the thoughts of the day. Emotions swirl between excitement and dread, happiness and depression. There is a longing for the presence of God. The psalmist pictures such mental and emotional churning with the image of a waterfall. He says to God:

Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me (Ps 42:7 ESV).

Waterfalls can be soothing, as the sound of the current cascading over stones can lull someone to sleep. In this case, however, the psalmist sees himself caught in an eddy, with the incessant stream swirling over and around him. His soul is cast down and in turmoil. Yet, in the LORD he finds his hope.

By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life (Ps 42:8 ESV).

True to his covenant, the LORD causes his steadfast love to work in the lives of his people. This love flows from the very nature of God, regardless of man’s circumstances or his perceived merit. God sends forth love, designed to give strength, to make whole, to give peace, to raise up. The LORD’s love triggers a song, a prayer of praise offered by one who lays hold of the never-failing love of God. The LORD is the giver and sustainer of life.

Though the turmoil leads to feelings of abandonment, the psalmist realizes the only sure path is one that trusts in God:

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God (Ps 42:5, 11 ESV).

Churning thoughts and emotions can overwhelm the restless heart. Yet in the midst of turmoil, we must lay hold of the work of God. He takes initiative to send forth his love in the storm of a fallen world. May you sense his presence and peace as you face the circumstances of today.