WHAT REALLY COUNTS
This Psalm continues David’s growing sense of need for God to help him in fighting off people who hated his dedicated lifestyle, and their attempt to either pull him down to their level, or cause him to waiver in his resolve to put God first in every area of his life. It came as a shock to David that a dedicated lifestyle could bring such adverse reactions from some of his own people, as well as his closest friends. But his devotion to the God who anointed him and the God he served was worth all the hardships brought on by his commitment to the God he loved. He knew that if he wanted peace in his heart and mind, he could only find it in the security of the love he had for God and God had for him.
“O LORD Eternal, I’ve been calling out to You? You’re the best source of protection; please don’t ignore my cries for help. For if You give me the cold shoulder, people will write me off as a complete failure. So with my hands extended toward Your holy throne in heaven, I plead with You respond to cries for mercy. I don’t want to end up like those with evil minds and wicked hearts who act like friends to their neighbors, while all the time looking for ways to hurt them. Let them get what they deserve for such actions; they are full of spite and should receive the same in return for what they give out. They have no interest in knowing what the LORD Eternal expects of us, nor do they care hearing about all the good things He’s done for others. I think He should put a stop to what they are doing and never let it happen again. Then I will tell others why I praise the LORD Eternal, because He’s always ready to listen to my faintest call for help. He encourages me and causes my heart to bubble over with joy. That’s why I break out in song as I worship Him. Yes, the LORD Eternal encourages all His children; He’s the One all of those who He has chosen run to when they need a true Friend. So I say to Him, ‘Let Your people prosper; let them become renown in the land; yes, treat them with love and nourish them with care as they go along their way’. ” Psalm 28:1-9
Reflection: A hardworking business man finally retired and wanted take up full-time his life-long dream of being an artist. But the years of heavy labor and arthritis had so crippled his hands and fingers he was unable to pursue his dream. Therefore, he decided to have a contest for up and coming artists and guarantee the winner his full financial support to paint the masterpieces he could now only dream of. So he rented a large auditorium and sent out invitations to all aspiring artists in the country to enter the competition. He announced a common theme for all artistes to try and interpret in their painting and that was, “Peace.” On the day of judging, along with several well-known art curators, he began walking down between the many rows of canvasses to see who portrayed “Peace” the best. At one point he stopped at the easel of a young lady to study her work. It depicted a scene high up in the Alps with untouched snow filling the valley, and a small cloud seemingly snared by the apex of the highest peak; as the sun shining through the pure air glistened off the undisturbed mountain landscape. With a smile on his face he asked the young lady, “What do you call this painting?” “Peace on the Mountain,” she replied. He walked on and after a while came to a portrait done by young man. As his eyes examined the canvass he saw a beautiful vale with knee-high grass, blossoming flowers, and trees full of fruit; several deer were drinking from a slow moving brook flowing through the lush meadow. In the background sat a beautiful vine-covered cottage with a wisp of smoke rising from the chimney. “My, my, what do you call this piece?” he asked the young man. “I call it, ‘Peace in the Valley’,” replied the young fellow with a gleam in his eyes. As he finally approached the end of the last row in the exhibition, he spotted a watercolor created by an older artist that immediately caught his startled eye. He walked over to get a closer look at the canvass just to make sure of what he was seeing. There was a portrait of a wild rushing river white with foam, roaring through a mountain gorge carrying everything in its way. The sky was pitch dark and flashes of lightening emitted from the clouds with brilliant bursts, as rain pelted down with horrendous fury pounding everything it hit with ferocity. The philanthropist was taken aback, and looking at the artist exclaimed with a frown, “The theme was ‘Peace,’ I don’t see any peace here!” The artist asked the gentleman to get nearer so he could see a scene portrayed up on the side of a sheer cliff. There he saw a limb sticking out underneath an overhang holding a nest on which a small bird sat chirping away as she calmly covered her eggs. “What in the world do you call this” the philanthropist exclaimed! The artist smiled and said softly, “Sir, I call it ‘Peace in the Time of Storm’.” Some believers only find peace when they are on the mountain top or in the tranquil valley, but David was able to find peace in the time of storm. That’s the peace the disciples experienced during the storm on the Sea of Galilee. It’s the peace that only Jesus can bring. So the next time you find yourself in a storm, remember that Jesus is in the boat with you.