You are my refuge and defence;
guide me and lead me as you have promised.
Keep me safe from the trap that has been set for me;
shelter me from danger.
I place myself in your care.
You will save me, LORD;
you are a faithful God. (verses 3-5)
Read Psalm 31:1-5, 15, 16
‘You’re not paranoid. But that doesn’t mean other people aren’t out to get you!’ You have probably heard that one before.
The writer of this psalm sounds a bit paranoid. But maybe he has reason to feel that way. Maybe others are setting traps for him.
I feel that way sometimes. It does seem that there are people out to get me. They criticise me, work to undermine what I am doing, seek to manipulate me to be and do what they reckon I ought to be and do.
At other times it seems as if life itself is out to get me. Things fall apart in my family and health. I can’t get ahead with my finances. I have no control over events in society and the world that are having an impact on my life-like the economic crisis. It feels as if the whole world is against me!
Regardless of how accurate these perceptions are, how do I cope with the terrible feelings of anguish I experience at such times? ‘Lord, I place myself in your care.’
Keep me safe, Lord. Keep me from giving in and going under. Be my refuge. Amen.
by Bob Kempe, in ‘New Strength for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 1998)
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