Pause, Breathe, Remember; A reflection on Psalm 4

Father Lee reflects on the solace and comfort provided by the 4th Psalm

by Father Lee Davis on April 10, 2024

Pause, Breathe, Remember

After watching the news yesterday I found myself saddened with wars raging, political rhetoric rampant and all of the stuff going on in the world, so, I pulled out the Psalm for this coming Sunday, Psalm 4.

Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause; *
you set me free when I am hard-pressed;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

2 "You mortals, how long will you dishonor my glory; *
how long will you worship dumb idols
and run after false gods?"

3 Know that the Lord does wonders for the faithful; *
when I call upon the Lord, he will hear me.

4 Tremble, then, and do not sin; *
speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.

5 Offer the appointed sacrifices *
and put your trust in the Lord.

6 Many are saying, "Oh, that we might see better times!" *
Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O Lord.

7 You have put gladness in my heart, *
more than when grain and wine and oil increase.

8 I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; *
for only you, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

 A comforting hand on my shoulder. That describes the 4th Psalm, the Psalm appointed for this coming Sunday, perfectly to me. The psalmist captures so beautifully the sentiment that we all feel every now and then; the feeling that the weight of the world is pressing down on your shoulders, conflicts seem to rage on every side, or when chaos threatens to engulf everything you hold dear? That is the raw reality the psalmist addresses with such honesty.

When I read, “Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!” it’s as if the psalmist has put words to the very thoughts that I have whispered in the quiet of my own heart during moments of uncertainty or when it seems there is nothing but storms brewing around us. I find it deeply comforting to know that someone is listening, especially when it feels like everything else is chaos.

But what really resonates with me, is the reminder that true joy isn’t found in the midst of the noise of the world. It’s in the moments of stillness when we take stock of the blessings that do surround us, even amidst the turmoil of the world. It’s like the psalmist is gently nudging me, saying, “Hey, amidst all this noise, there is still goodness to be found.”

And when the psalmist speaks of the joy that God brings, it's like a ray of hope piercing through the darkness. It's the assurance that, no matter how turbulent things may seem, we're not alone. We're cradled in the arms of a love that never falters.

So, when I find myself overwhelmed by the chaos of the world, I turn to Psalm 4 as a reminder to pause, to breathe, and to remember that there's still goodness to be found amidst the storm. It's not just ancient words on a page; it's a lifeline, offering hope and peace in a world that often feels anything but peaceful.

Tags: comfort, chaos, solace

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