Surrounded

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever!..

Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
    the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
    What can man do to me?
The Lord is on my side as my helper;
    I shall look in triumph on those who hate me…

All nations surrounded me;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
They surrounded me like bees;
    they went out like a fire among thorns;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
I was pushed hard, so that I was falling,
    but the Lord helped me.

The Lord is my strength and my song;
    he has become my salvation.
Glad songs of salvation
    are in the tents of the righteous:
‘The right hand of the Lord does valiantly,
     the right hand of the Lord exalts,
    the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!’” Psalm 118:1,5-7,10-16

“You are a hiding place for me;
    you preserve me from trouble;
    you surround me with shouts of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7

“You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.” Psalm 139:5

The truth is, we are surrounded all of the time. Whether we reside in a densely populated or wide open place, distresses, ailments, temptations, people with whom we disagree or who hate everything we stand for and believe, abound and are all around. But we are also surrounded by the Lord, and our Lord is greater than the enemy and his wiles. The weight of failures and smother of life’s heat press so close we feel we have no air, yet the Lord’s mysterious and marvelous encompassing relieves and delivers and releases joy inexplicable.

Is there stress and trouble? The Lord is strong and gives relief. Is there pain or sorrow? The Lord comforts. Does fear loom? The Lord is nigh, and ever present. Are responsibilities too many to bear, and unknowns too difficult to navigate? The Lord is more than sufficient for every need. Do we face accusations and attacks? The Lord is for us, and as our Advocate defends us. (Joshua 1:9; Romans 8:31-34; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; 9:8; Ephesians 3:20)

In this life, we will always live as wheat among tares. The enemy Jebusites will always be among us. But our King who hovers close surrounds us as our strength, song, and valiant warrior fighting on our behalf. One day He will make His victory a reality in all the world, and we can live now with assurance in that hope. Why would we faint? (Joshua 15:63; Matthew 13:24-30; Revelation 21:3-6a)

Within and out of our distress, would we call upon the Lord, and give thanks for His goodness and steadfast love in the midst? When physical enemies close in, and the mental buzz of doubt and shame drones ever louder, we can look to the Lord our Helper, and sing glad songs of His sure salvation.

Father, remind me that You keep me secure, that no matter what else presses in, You are closer still. May I ever rejoice in Your steadfast love and deliverance of my soul, for You alone are worthy of the praise.

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