Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.Psalm 43:3-4
What a word of triumph! Now the psalmist understands what God is doing; He is driving him step by step to the ultimate refuge of any believer in any time of testing: the Word of God, which is the truth of God coupled with the light. The truth is God's Word; the light is your understanding of it. The psalmist cries out for an understanding of the Word as he reads it and for light, which breaks out of these marvelous promises to encourage and strengthen his heart. He says,
If you will do that, God, then my heart will be filled with joy and gladness, and I will praise you with the harp; for you, O God, are my God, my personal God. What a revelation that is!
There comes a time in all of our lives when we discover for ourselves that the ultimate refuge of any believer is in the Word of God, in what God has said. I remember such a time in my early ministry. I had just begun my work at PBC when a young man who was having severe marital problems came to me for counsel, and I tried to help him as best I could and eventually led him to Christ. For a few weeks there was a real change in this young man's life. He gained firm hold on God. But, as often happens, there came a time of testing of his faith, and he was plunged into despair. One Sunday morning he called me up just before church and asked me over the phone for help and prayer. I told him that as soon as the church service was over, I would come to see him. When the service ended, I did go over to see him. He didn't answer when I knocked, so, finding the door open, I went in and looked for him. I finally found him in his bedroom, dead by his own hand.
The rest of that day I was shaken and did not know what to do. I was upset and did not know whether I wanted to continue in the ministry; it seemed so senseless and useless. I tried every way to find help. I prayed, but it did not seem to relieve me. I talked with others, tried to keep busy, but nothing worked. Finally, that night, fearing that I would lie sleepless, my wife and I together took our Bibles and began to read. To this day, I do not know what we read, but I remember that every word came like balm, like healing salve, to my heart. In that time of deep, dark despair and frustration, the reading of the Word healed my heart.
Father, how grateful I am for this remarkable psalm and its help to my heart in times of depression. Help me, Lord to lay hold of it and use it in my life, knowing this was written for my instruction.
Where can we seek refuge when circumstances make us confused and hurt? What gift brings light to our confusion, truth and joy to our woundedness?