January 1, 2022 • Life for Leaders
Scripture—Psalm 73:28 (NRSV)
But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
to tell of all your works.
We tend to take refuge in many other things: in our bank accounts, our reputation, our insurance, our friends. The problem is that none of these are truly secure, truly solid, truly trustworthy. But God is different.
There are many people who start off their year with resolution. But the songs we create — having to do with less greasy food, more workouts, or working harder — are thwarted by diminished chords and flat notes of exhaustion, pain, and surprises.
The psalmist gives us a song of the basic themes of life in Psalm 73:1-27. As I mentioned yesterday, these include: a good God, the frailty of human ankles, the apparent success of those who don’t know God, the struggle of those who do know God, and the anticipation of God making everything right. No matter what, the psalm writer tells us that “It is good to be near God” (73:28).
No matter what happens in the coming year, no matter what your song sounds like, will you be able to say, “It is good to be near God”? With the psalm-writer, will you say, “I have made the Lord God my refuge”? God is there for you, your rock, your shelter, your protection. When things get hard, will you take refuge in God?
We tend to take refuge in many other things: in our bank accounts, our reputation, our insurance, our friends. The problem is that none of these are truly secure, truly solid, truly trustworthy. But God is different. God’s works reveal God’s utter faithfulness and mercy. Most of all, God’s work through Jesus Christ confirms God’s amazing grace and unfailing love.
So, when things become difficult in your life this year, may you take refuge in God. May you know in truth that it is good to be near God. And, in case you’re wondering, God is near you.
Where do you tend to forget that God is omnipresent?
How might your engagement change in how you treat others if you remember that God is present?
God’s refuge is an explicit message about our weakness. Where is God protecting you? Consider some spaces of your life where God is presently providing refuge and safety and write them down. What does it teach you about God’s care, compulsive love, correction, and passion for creation?
God, I am thankful for the songwriter’s words:
I trust in God wherever I may be,
Upon the land or on the rolling sea;
For come what may, from day to day,
My heav’nly Father watches over me.
I trust in God, I know he cares for me,
On mountain bleak or on the stormy sea;
Though billows roll, he keeps my soul,
My heav’nly Father watches over me.
Give us good resolve to be ready to sing the things that are true. Bring back the light of your word with numerous examples of the goodness of your presence. Remind us that you are present with others just as much as ourselves. And give us grace-enabling power to finish the course of this year saying, “He was with me.” In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Desiring God Most of All
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DeLano J. Sheffield is the Business Resource Specialist for Goodwill of MoKan where he connects to people on the fringes, training them to reach their full potential through learning and the power of work; he also is on the frontlines of the advances of the fourth industrial revolution and coaches leaders on diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. He began his career as an architectural engineer then went on to attend seminary. In every part of his life he finds ways to infuse theology into vocation, and strengthen practical connections of faith and daily activity. DeLano lives in Kansas City, Missouri.