Yesterday being Mother's Day, me being a mom and a having a mom and knowing moms and women who long to be moms and/or grieve the loss of their children, it was a day full of thoughts turned prayers.
Yesterday also being the last Sunday in a series on marriage at my church, and me being married and knowing firsthand the unique kinds of trials marriage brings, it was a day of reflection turned worship.
About a week ago I read Psalm 27 and it grabbed me. I've been mulling it over ever since. One particular verse has me thinking about my one thing.
One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.
What's the one thing I am asking God for and seeking after? One thing. Mostly its been for my marriage. Or my kids. The two things yesterday hit on. When I read Psalm 27 I hear the writer exclaiming that in the midst of fearful troubles and rejections, his one thing was a triune request: To be in God's presence all his life, to see the beauty of God and to be able to talk with God and may requests of him. If I'm honest at first reading I feel like that's just out of reach. How can I say my one thing is all about God when my kids are struggling and I'm exhausted and my marriage is so troubled? How could the Psalmist say this when danger and fears and rejection by his own parents surrounded him?
As I listened yesterday to the preaching of the message that God has ransomed us from slavery to sin and idolatry, like Hosea ransomed Gomer, the mental image of the Son of God crying out, "I buy you back! I buy you with my own life!" while I was shamefully sold-out to sin flashed through my mind. I heard 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
And then Psalm 27 started making more sense. There's only one thing I really need in the midst of fears and suffering: Christ. If he didn't buy me back to God I would never be able to run to him as a refuge. I wouldn't be able be in his presence daily or see his endless beauty or talk with him and seek his answer.
In the midst of parenting trials and marriage troubles, where fears and the pain of betrayal and rejection and sins threaten to destroy, the one thing I need more than anything is Christ. And when I lift my eyes off this storm around me and believe the promise that he his with me, and dwell on the beauty of his glory, and seek his face and his counsel, everything is set right. The storm may rage, but with the psalmist I can say:
I believe that I shall look upon 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!