Psalm 55 (Psalms on the Trail)

Ps. 55: 6 Pipeline looking NE towards the SusquehannaI said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!

I would fly away and be at rest.

I would flee to a far-off place

and make my lodging in the wilderness.

I would hurry to find shelter for myself

from the stormy wind and tempest.”

Psalm 55: 6-8

 

 

Reflection:  As the crow flies, it is a straight shot to the Susquehanna River which can be barely seen in the distance.  Walking the trail is more circuitous and covers painfully stony ground.  Hence it is tempting to wish one could simply fly rather than pick one’s way through the rocks.  The psalmist wishes he could fly away from an incredibly painful situation.  A trusted companion has turned on him.  The two of them had even worshiped together.  And yet now the friend and cohorts have broken faith in some way and are undermining him.  The psalmist vacillates between longing to escape into the wilderness away from it all, calling down curses, grieving over the loss of friendship, fear and trembling at where the situation could now lead, and turning to God in prayer and trust, telling himself to “Cast your burden upon the Lord, who will sustain you, and who will never let the righteous stumble.”

I guess most of us have situations where we would rather run away from the problem rather than walk the stony ground, are tempted to call down curses rather than face our grieving,  and are drawn to doubt whether God indeed hears us rather than to trust.  There are no easy answers.  On this afternoon I turn back from the pipeline and continue on the rocky trail.  In the psalm the psalmist breathes one last dire prediction of what is going to happen to his friend and then turns to God and says, “…but I will trust in you.”

Suggestions:

1. Take this verse with you and ponder its meaning for you throughout the day.  What do you notice?  What do you wonder?  Is there a situation from which you would like to run away?

2. Or read all of Psalm 55 to discover how this verse fits into the psalm or to discover a different verse.

3. Or comment with a photo of your own that illustrates this verse’s meaning for you.

Tomorrow’s verse is from Psalm 56:2.

Starting January 1, 2016, for 150 days I am posting a daily psalm verse with a photo that is a visual meditation on the text for me.  Each day a verse from the next psalm is chosen until all 150 psalms have been featured.   To participate you may subscribe to my blog at http://elainedent.net or “friend” me on Facebook and watch for the daily links to blog posts.  Disclaimer:  I am not a photographer and most of the photos are from a cell phone or small camera while hiking the Appalachian Trail or the C&O Canal/Great Allegheny Passage Trail.