August 15, 2021

With Me

Psalm 118:5-7

The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?

—  Psalm 118:6

Am I the only one who balks at the question that the psalmist asks here—“What can mere mortals do to me?”

I think we all know what the psalmist is getting at here, but people can be mean! They can hurt us verbally, emotionally, psychologically, and physically. And my guess is that we’ve all experienced at least one of those hurts, if not all of them. I don’t necessarily live in daily fear of physical harm, but some people do—and that can be devastating. However, I do live in fear of being hurt by people’s words. Every time I open my email, I’m afraid of what someone else might say about something I did.

Still, the psalmist knew all of that as well as we do. He was pursued and threatened with bodily harm. But even in the midst of threats and dangers, he was able to give thanks to God, confess that the Lord was with him, and be certain that mere mortals could not ultimately destroy him.

While people might be able to hurt our bodies or minds, they can’t hurt our souls. And while people can hurt us in this world, they can’t hurt us forever. That is the message the psalmist wants us to hear. We aren’t assured of health and safety on this earth. But we don’t need to fear what anyone on this earth can do to us. They cannot control our destiny. With God, we can be certain that our destiny is in his hands.

Eternal God, even when we are hard pressed and threatened, help us remember that you are God and that nothing can take us away from you. Amen.

About the author — Bret Lamsma

Bret Lamsma is director of faith formation at a church in Denver, Colorado, and has served churches in Michigan and California in youth, inter-generational, and educational ministries. Bret and his wife, Julie, have two children, and he enjoys hiking, camping, and visiting national parks with his family.

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