6 I cry out to you because you answer me.
So tilt your ears toward me now—
listen to what I’m saying!
7 Manifest your faithful love in amazing ways
because you are the one
who saves those who take refuge in you,
saving them from their attackers
by your strong hand.
8 Watch me with the very pupil of your eye!
Hide me in the protection of your wings,
9 away from the wicked
who are out to get me,
away from my deadly enemies
who are all around me!
10 They have no pity;
their mouths speak arrogantly.
11 They track me down—
suddenly, they surround me!
They make their plans to put me in the dirt.
12 They are like a lion eager to rip its prey;
they are like a strong young lion lying in wait.
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Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not after you.Joseph Heller, Catch-22
It’s a universal human experience. All of us occasionally feel like the whole world is conspiring against us.
This was a feeling that the writers of the psalms seemed to experience A LOT. It’s a frequent topic in their pleas to God: that people are talking about them behind their backs and that enemies are lurking at the door.
Here, the language that the psalmist uses is: “I’m surrounded.”
When you begin to feel this way, remember that perspective matters. Nothing and no one can surround us so long as God surrounds us. God is always bigger than our enemies.
There’s a beautiful worship song that gets at this idea. So today’s reflection is a musical one, based on the song “Surrounded (Fight My Battles)” by Upper Room. Take some time to listen and find encouragement in these simple and powerful words:
It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by you
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering and Prayer
Beginning today, please keep Pastor Rachel in your prayers as she is interviewed by the Board of Ordained Ministry of Greater New Jersey, a final step in her journey toward ordination. Please lift her up along with all the candidates, that they might be surrounded by God’s presence and peace.