“The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.
One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, ‘Seek my face.’
My heart says to you,
‘Your face, Lord, do I seek.’
Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!..
Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies…
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!” Psalm 27:1-9,11,13
David is pursued and pelted by enemy assailants, but he’s not overcome by their dark press. David deals with trouble as necessary, but his priority is to gaze at, hold onto, and sing of the light that is his God. Every opponent, every onslaught, pales into the background as he focuses on his one thing: dwelling with his Lord every waking moment, beholding His beautiful face in intimate communion. It is here he develops the wisdom, strength, discernment, and resolve to face his world.
We get pressured by many things that rob attention from the one that is vital. Work and financial responsibilities, maintenance of material goods, petty grievances and irritations with people and politics: each requires some attention, but none foremost. Jesus realigned frenzied Martha by directing her to sit, gaze, and listen. (Luke 10:38-42)
What duties to manage, or enemies to contend with, have mustered out of focus what’s most important? All these are in place as instruments for a higher knowing of Him in the midst. Where need we realign priorities of perception, focus, and time in order to seek God’s face?
“O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.” ~Helen Howarth Lemmel (1922)
Lord, train me to focus my energies and sight to look upon You, so the perspective of all else is framed and understood by Your glory and grace.