This morning I read Psalm 73, a familiar and well loved Psalm, enshrined by Hillsong in verse 2 of ‘Made Me Glad’. What struck me is how well this Psalm reflected my own experience, and perhaps yours too.
The Psalm starts with an affirmation that God is good to his people (v.1) but then we hear some disturbing news – the Psalmist almost lost his footing, he was almost gone (v.2). And we quickly discover why. He had been envying the proud, others who do not follow God’s ways but seem to prosper (v.3). And his complaints sound so familiar – these people are healthy, they don’t have problems like other people, they have the things that they want (v.4-7). How often this is the case for me! Looking at others who seem to have it so much more together than me, I focus on that, not on the God who is good to his people and to me.
Like the Psalmist, I rarely speak of such dissatisfaction out loud (v.15) but in my heart I am dismayed at trying to understand God’s way of things (v.16). But in seeking God, the Psalmist finds that God has a plan for justice (v.16-20). What’s more, the Psalmist sees how feeble and foolish his own thoughts are. After all, he is God’s own! Whatever happens to his health or strength, he belongs to God and nothing can change that (v.26).
This is where the famous line Hillsong used comes, “Whom have I in heaven but you?” (v.25) Not only is God the Psalmist’s only hope, but that is a great thing, for he is exclusively God’s and that is a beautiful place in which to be (v.28). What a challenge to remember God’s way of things in the light of the foolishness of my own heart! What a summons to cling to the Sovereign Lord as shelter and to tell of the wonderful things he does (v.28)!
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.