Nothing can be farther from and more foreign to the whole temper of modern man than the anguished cry of David: “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Modern man recognizes no such rock, and that is the source of all estrangement and all tragedy.
Charles Malik, cited by Paul E Miller in “A Praying Life” pp.107-8.
Having read the BBC account of last night’s terrorist attacks in Paris, I turned to my Bible and read my morning psalm, which happened to be Psalm 55. Here is a part of that Scripture:
1 Listen to my prayer, O God,
do not ignore my plea;
2 hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
3 because of what my enemy is saying,
because of the threats of the wicked;
for they bring down suffering on me
and assail me in their anger.
4 My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
5 Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
7 I would flee far away
and stay in the desert;
8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.”
9 Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words,
for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they prowl about on its walls;
malice and abuse are within it.
11 Destructive forces are at work in the city;
threats and lies never leave its streets.
22 Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you; he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked
into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
will not live out half their days.
But as for me, I trust in you.
Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy.
This space will chiefly be used for sharing the fruits of my reading. I’m blessed to be able to read God’s word, the Bible, daily, and most days I also find time to read from other books too. So I’ll be offering you words that have helped, encouraged and challenged me, in the hope that you’ll find them rich food for your soul.
To start off, here’s a classic line that helped shape my thinking as a young Christian, and has guided my course through the years. It comes from Jim Elliot, an American missionary who was martyred aged 28:
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Live wisely, live well.