My thoughts (Steve Adams):
This psalm opens with a fantastic truth! Unless God is in what we build, our cities, and our work, then they are vanity. Our homes, our communities, and our jobs lose their true, intrinsic purpose when God’s qualities aren’t front and center.
This reminds me of my mindset when I first started dating after coming out years ago. I rushed into potential romances without bringing God along with me. If the relationship was exciting and I got emotionally attached, then I would start expecting it to last forever. Even after I would discover that we didn’t have the compatibility that living together requires, I would still push and plan for it. And as the emotional attachment increased, it seemed so much easier to stay in the relationship than try to change it to friendship only, or to end it completely. Yes, even though EXCITEMENT, EMOTION, and EASE are all good things, they can lead to unrealistic EXPECTATIONS and ERROR when given higher priority than God’s wisdom!
Another thing that happened with that wrong attitude: I couldn’t sleep well. Some nights I woke up so agitated that I couldn’t go back to sleep. I’d get up and try to figure things out, then go back to bed and finally fall asleep, but not restfully. What a contrast to how I slept after doing it God’s way! After I put God back into the center of my life, I was content and satisfied to let romance come to me in the natural flow of life, while simply enjoying God and life. My sleep became truly restful and sweet (verse 2; Proverbs 3:24 ). I’d wake up in the morning truly refreshed, thankful, and able to focus and revel in something as simple yet gorgeous as the morning dew perched on thousands of green blades of grass — if only for a few seconds when walking from my car to my workplace.
After my awakening, I met Dan, the man who would become my husband. That was twenty-two years ago. This happy result was certainly not guaranteed just because I woke up spiritually, but the chances of it happening had I continued on without God would have been slim to none.
So do we want the solidity, the soundness, and the wholeness of God’s love, or are we going to chase after good results without God, leaving the endeavor open to the emptiness and lack of true caring that life without God’s characteristics offers? The choice is ours.
(Note: I believe that for those who don’t believe in God, it’s a similar choice: will love, patience, and gratitude trump excitement, emotion, and ease when necessary? And, by the way, isn’t it true that God dearly loves those who don’t believe in God?)
Thought for the Day: When you’re at the center of our lives, God, there’s a wholeness and love that only you can provide. Please help us realize that you are our Shepherd, Lord Jesus; the One who gives us love, solidity, peace, and a sweet night’s sleep!
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.