Reflections on Psalm 73:
Surely God is good to His children whose hearts are pure in their devotion to Him. They’re the ones who have room to fill up with His love and mercy, because they no longer clutter up their hearts with envy. They have the energy to follow His leading because they’ve stopped wearing themselves out jumping to their own conclusions.
But my own feet had almost slipped; my foothold of trust in God had shrunk to a toehold; I was barely hanging on.
I had allowed myself to stop looking to God first, last and always. Instead, I shifted my focus to people who appeared to be getting away with murder. As far as I could see, the more arrogant they were, the more they got ahead. Nothing seemed to bother them: they were rich and strong and everything went their way. They bragged about their success and their power to intimidate others. There was no end to their appetite for power — or perversion. They didn’t care what they said: they freely slandered anyone and everyone, threatened and berated at will. Yet, they still felt they could claim God as their Savior, even while they grabbed for more and more of what the world worships.
People around them saw their methods and where it got them, and it made their eyes pop with envy. Egotistical and supremely self-confident, these people think God doesn’t see what they’re doing – who they really are. They think they’ve outsmarted God.
I looked at them and saw people who get everything they want without a care in the world. The injustice of it made me grind my teeth. In my anger I dropped my guard and gave Satan an entrance into my thoughts. It wasn’t fair! Why was I trying so hard to live for God? Where had shunning evil got me? Why did I get criticized and ridiculed as I struggled to do right? There was plenty of pain and trouble in my life, yet these evil people were thriving.
These thoughts were bouncing around in my head, but they didn’t make it to my lips. Thankfully I had sense enough to keep quiet until I had worked it all through with You, Lord; otherwise I would have betrayed both You and other believers.
As it was, I was really upset when I tried to figure this out on my own. It made no sense to me. But finally I did what I should have done in the first place: I came into Your presence. You cleared my vision. You showed me just how short our time is here; how insignificant our worldly “success” is. Justice may elude the wicked here, but they will pay in full for eternity. What a terrible price!
I realized then how far off course my grief and bitterness had taken me. I was so focused on my losses and struggles that I let go of my sense of Your infinite love and care. I might as well have been an animal, just reacting on instinct instead of reflecting on Your wisdom and leading.
Yet, even when I forget to take things to You right away and go off on a dead end of my own making, You never let go of me. You’re still right here, as near as my breath, ready to guide me to where I need to be. Lord, it’s amazing to me that someday I’ll share in the eternal glory of Your presence. Beside that, nothing on earth is even worth considering, much less fretting about. My body may wear out and my courage may fail, but You are my strength here and my inheritance for ever.
Those who live for themselves and reject You will be left with nothing. But I thank You that in Your goodness I’ve been brought to my senses. Whatever happens, You are my refuge, and nothing will make me stop talking about Your amazing grace.