Reflection March 28


My soul is satisfied as with the marrow and fatness,

And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.

When I remember You on my bed,

I meditate on You in the night watches,

For You have been my help and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.

My soul clings to You;Your right hand upholds me.

 Psalm 63:5-8

 When I think of the context in which David wrote these powerful lines, I am amazed at his response to his circumstances. His own son had just attempted to kill him and he had fled into the wilderness where he was now suffering in numerous ways. No doubt he was tempted to despair and question God’s purposes and the blessing that had been given to him as King. More than anything he wanted to go to the temple and meet with God there, to be in His presence and receive from Him, but this was impossible. He could have given in to the overwhelming confusion, pressure and fear that surely rose up within him. Instead, in this psalm he intentionally lifts his soul toward God, and brings himself back to the reality that he belongs to God, and God’s presence and provision are the only things that truly satisfy him, whether in a palace or a desert.

 Earlier in the psalm David says, “You are my God. I will seek You, because You satisfy my soul. You give me what I need.” His entire psalm here demonstrates a childlike trust in the Father’s control, care, and provision. He shows a turning away from his own abilities, power and resources (of which he had many!), and a turning toward God as a loving parent who meets all of his needs. In verse seven he includes the picture of God as a mother hen, with wings wrapped protectively around her brood. In other psalms David writes of himself as a little lamb, vulnerable and at times, wandering, but safe in the care of the Good Shepherd. All of these scriptures point us toward what is actually our truest identity and source of hope- that we are the children of a loving Father, dependent on Him for everything, and that we can trust Him to give us everything we need when we need it.

This shift of perspective and identity has been a beautiful gift to me in this season of becoming a parent myself. God has graciously allowed me to see myself as He sees me- his precious child, his little lamb in need of his help. Becoming pregnant was never as easy as I thought it would be, and each time brought up my deep desires for control, and then fear and anger when I was faced with my lack thereof. I have been pregnant five times but only given birth to three babies. My two miscarriages were devastating and brought up frustrations with my own body. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I keep my babies alive? I wondered why God would even allow me to get pregnant, only to seemingly take the thing I longed for. Then there are the myriad of doubts that all parents struggle with, wondering if we’re permanently ruining our babies/toddlers/children with all our mistakes. Now added to all of this, we have had the unique challenges of parenting a teenage foster daughter for the last nine months.

 Honestly, much of the last eight years has felt like a dry and weary place to me. It has been scary and painful and confusing at times.  But it has been in the many moments of feeling my absolute lack of control over my circumstances, plans, my body and my children that God has met me in the most precious of ways. Through his Spirit and his people he has shown the tenderness of his care for me as his child, gently saying to me over and over, “Will you trust that I know what you need? Come, little one, take shelter under my wings and let me be your help. You don’t have to do this on your own.” What a relief to just let go and be taken care of.

 My dear friends, may the tender and steadfast love of our Father, the trusting obedience of our brother Jesus, and the power of His Spirit be ever more our truest reality.

Erica Marshall