In the Office: Of Grass and Thrones

For better or worse, I’m a bit of a “news addict.” I watch the news as I sip my morning coffee. I check the latest headlines at least a couple times during the day, and I’m like to take one last look at developing stories before I go to bed. And naturally, following the news can give one a sense that everything is urgent — and what’s more — that it’s urgently falling apart.

But today’s psalm (Psalm 103) invites me to put all this “breaking doom and gloom” in perspective. The psalmist remind me:

The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more. (verses 15-16)

grassAll the things that seem so important — the latest political squabbles and the movements of Wall Street, the salacious Hollywood gossip and the conflicts in distant lands — all of these are part of a mortal life; which, like grass, is here today and gone tomorrow.

That’s not to say that God doesn’t care about all these events. The Lord wills wholeness and healing for His creation and His people; and so, the psalm also takes the time to remind me:

The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed. (verse 6)

throneBut amid all the chaos and upheaval that surround us, there are two truths that provide both stability and hope. First, God’s love for us is unfailing: “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (v. 8). “He does not treat us as our sins deserve…For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him” (vs. 10-11). “As a father his compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him” (v. 13). And second, God’s kingdom endures: “The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all” (v. 19).

No wonder the psalm both begins and ends with a call to worship: “Praise the LORD, my soul” (vs. 1 and 22). May God’s kingdom be your enduring hope today — even amid the fleeting rush of events, both painful and joyful. And may there be a song of praise in your soul, as the unfailing love of the LORD allows you to be a source of hope for others.

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