It isn’t about us. How often do we remind ourselves of that? And true enough. We are not the main event. We are not the kings of our kingdoms. We are not the sun around which everything else revolves. But as I read the thirty-second psalm this morning, I am reminded that, while it may not be about me, at least in one respect, I am at the center.
Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.
(Psalm 32:10 ESV)
Surrounded by the steadfast love of the LORD. Encompassed by His lovingkindness. Enveloped with unfailing mercy and faithfulness.
Activate your divine GPS and that’s where you’ll find the one who trusts in the LORD . . . at the center of God’s steadfast love.
There’s a sense in this word of to march, or go about something. The steadfast love of God assembled around the believer, marching like Joshua’s army around a helpless city. But unlike Joshua, surrounding it not to destroy it, but to protect it, to fortify it, to make known to it the abiding light of His never-ending presence. That’s the promise for the one who trusts in the LORD. To be at the center.
Just as we are enveloped by the air, just as we are encompassed by sunlight, so we are fully encased by God’s unfailing love. Not that we don’t have similar trials as “the wicked.” Not that we don’t experience sorrow as do those who refuse divine compassion and care. But our sorrows are fewer, for His presence brings a peace beyond understanding. Our burdens are lighter, for His unfailing mercy helps us carry the load. Our grieving is tempered by the foretaste of an eternal love and life that is ours even now. Our trials being but “momentary afflictions” giving way eventually to “an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2Cor. 4:17). And that eternal weight of glory is experienced in part now as we find ourselves at the center of His love.
It’s so easy when trials come to feel on the outskirts of God’s presence and love. The enemy seeks to cull the hurting sheep from the flock, planting thoughts of being separated from the Great Shepherd’s care. Trying to have us believe that we are on the periphery of God’s line-of-sight and that we need to go it alone amidst our struggles. Untrue, declares the songwriter. Far from being cast to the fringes of divine favor, the song reminds us that, as one writer put it, for those whose confidence is in the LORD, that “man hath God for his circumference.”
Look up, look down. Look left, look right. Steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.
It’s not about us, but we are at the center of His unfailing love. We are not the main event, but we are the objects of divine grace and compassion. We are but servants in His kingdom and His is the throne, but we are also so loved of the King that He has redeemed us at great price and has determined that none will be snatched from His hand. We’re not the sun, but we know who the Son is, being found in Him and having been invited to abide in Him as a branch draws strength from the Vine. While He is preeminent, we are at the center, surrounded by unfaltering lovingkindness.
Because of God’s grace. For God’s glory.