Finding Level Ground

“The enemy pursues me,
    he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in the darkness
    like those long dead.
So my spirit grows faint within me;
    my heart within me is dismayed.
I remember the days of long ago;
    I meditate on all your works
    and consider what your hands have done.
I spread out my hands to you;
    I thirst for you like a parched land.

Answer me quickly, Lord;
    my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
    or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
    for I hide myself in you.
Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
    lead me on level ground.” Psalm 143:3-10

Ups and downs of circumstances, emotion, spiritual fervor. Bowing low, reaching high, weighted down, lifted head… Life seems a roller coaster of rush and crush and swings of mood and shadows, floods and famines. We long for level ground, and something innate presses us to the good Spirit who hears our desperate cries.

Unfailing love is level, steadfast, with no shadow of turn or change. Compassions never fail, and faithfulness holds because they issue from the unchanging God. His works and ways are a rudder to keep us steady, His highway of holiness our true north in hill and vale of life events. These we can cling to and trust! (Isaiah 35:8-10; Lamentations 3:22-23; Malachi 3:6)

When daunted by enemies of doubt, greed, or despair, when uncertain about the way to go forward in a relationship or career, when torn between opinions and choices, where do we turn? To whom do we go? Only God is absolutely trustworthy, His word our firm foundation and level ground. How consistently do we remember, meditate, and spread out our hands to the God who answers, loves, and guides? (Psalm 73:23-26)

“How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in God’s excellent Word!
What more can be said than to you God hath said,
to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
for I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no, never, no, never forsake.” ~George Keith (1787)

Lord Most High, teach me Your way to go at every intersection, and keep me on the level path of absolute trust, constancy, and gratitude, no matter what is or comes. Fill me with and guide me by Your good Spirit, that I faithfully honor and glorify your name.

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