Thursday, November 12, 2020

Surrounded - Martin Wiles

Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone. Psalm 33:22 NLT

What surrounded me appeared to have no end.

Some years, teaching proves more difficult than others. One particular year, I had more than the usual numbers of boys and girls who didn’t care much for school—or whether or not their behavior conformed to school and class rules. I faced incidents of bullying, cursing, disrespect—all of which came with a price. But the stern talks, lunch detentions, disciplinary slips, trips to the principal’s office, and suspensions didn’t seem to help. Their behavior only modified for a short period of time.

It was also the year when financial problems surrounded my wife and me. Unable to work outside the home due to health problems, my wife applied for work-at-home jobs. We bought a new computer and other items she would need for any job she applied for. She filled out numerous applications and had a number of interviews. No luck. We begged and borrowed from others. Had friends and family not helped us, we would have sunk.

In the midst of these issues, editing work—which I love—also surrounded me. An email from a CEO of a publishing house wanted to know if I’d be interested in some administration work. I took it. A young woman who attends college and needs help with editing her papers also emailed. And then I had my normal managing editor duties for two other websites.

The psalmist looked at his world and declared it uncertain. Wickedness abounded, but he cautioned his readers not to trust in anything but the Lord. Nothing could save them … save the Lord. The psalmist wanted God’s love to surround him. That was where he found hope.

When unpleasant things—and even too many pleasant things—surround me, I have to remind myself of the same. I can’t put my full trust in any one thing. They all deteriorate. Nor is it wise to put my full confidence in any person—regardless of how much I love them. They are human and can fail me.

The only safe thing to surround ourselves with is God’s love and presence. His love proves consistent, permanent, and dependable. When others walk away, He stays. When circumstances seem out of control, He controls them. When others say, “I don’t love you,” He says, “I’ll never leave you or forsake you.”

Instead of surrounding yourself with things that will disappoint you, surround yourself with God’s love.

Prayer: Father, surround us with Your love in such a way that we need nothing else.

Tweetable: Do you feel surrounded? 

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