July 16 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 16–17; Acts 20:1–16
Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me.
READ Psalm 43
On July 16, 1999, the small plane piloted by John F. Kennedy Jr. crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. Investigators determined the cause of the accident to be a common error known as spatial disorientation. This phenomenon occurs when, due to poor visibility, pilots become disoriented and forget to rely on their instruments to help them successfully reach their destination.
As we navigate life, there are often times when life gets so overwhelming we feel disoriented. A cancer diagnosis, the death of a loved one, a job loss, a betrayal by a friend—life’s unexpected tragedies can easily leave us feeling lost and confused.
When we find ourselves in these kinds of situations, we might try offering the prayer of Psalm 43. In this psalm, the psalmist is overwhelmed and feeling lost because he feels surrounded by evil and injustice. In despair, the psalmist pleads with God to provide His sure guidance to help him safely navigate through the situation to his desired destination, God’s presence (vv. 3–4). In God’s presence the psalmist knows he’ll find renewed hope and joy.
What are the tools the psalmist requests for guidance? The light of truth and the assurance of God’s presence by His Holy Spirit.
When you’re feeling disoriented and lost, God’s faithful guidance through His Spirit and loving presence can comfort you and light your way.
By Lisa M. Samra
REFLECT & PRAY
What disorienting circumstances are you experiencing? How might you ask God to help guide you today?
Heavenly Father, thank You that You’ve not left me alone in the challenging and disorienting circumstances of life. Please help me to rely on You to guide my steps today.
Psalm 43 is an intimate prayer from one experiencing the difficulties of life to a God who can intervene. It’s important to notice the progression of thought to better understand the petition of the prayer.
In verse 1, the author establishes his need for help and proclaims his innocence in the face of his persecution: “vindicate” implies the author is being wrongly attacked. The psalmist then moves on to acknowledge that he’s come to God yet feels abandoned by Him. This suggests that both the persecution by the “deceitful and wicked” (v. 1) as well as the prayers for deliverance and perceived inaction by God have been ongoing. In verse 3, the psalmist once again asks God to intervene. It suggests that when the request is fulfilled, the psalmist will be able to go and offer his praise (v. 4). To end his prayer, the writer reminds himself that he’ll continue to hope and trust in God (v. 5).