Psalm 118:8-9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes.
This is an extremely practical statement of fact/bit of advice. We tend to trust in/depend on people in any number of ways, and not all of that is bad. A child raised in an environment where they have no one they can depend on and trust is going to have a very difficult life indeed, if they even make it out of childhood. However, it’s an unpleasant reality that human beings are imperfect, without exception. We fail each other, and we fail ourselves. Depending exclusively on people will ultimately lead to disappointment, at the very least. However, there is One who is absolutely dependable! When we make God our refuge in the storms of life, we can have stability and peace no matter who fails us or how. Right now America is in political turmoil, and that is minor compared to what is going on in Hong Kong and elsewhere. We are to pray for our leaders, (1 Timothy 2:1-2) but our trust and dependence must be in God, rather than on such people. God can and does raise up people to fit certain circumstances, but no matter how grateful we might be for what they do, we must never forget that they are as fallible as we are. Dr. Martin Luther King was mightily used by God, yet he certainly was not without character flaws. Off hand, the person against whom I am aware of no accusation at all would be Billy Graham, but he maintained the life he did precisely because of his awareness of his own human weaknesses. His rule of never being alone with a woman other than his wife was a huge help to him, for example. As the Psalmist says here, it is better to take refuge in God than to trust anyone or anything else.
This certainly applies to me, as it does to everyone. I have failed myself and others more times than I could count, and I have doubtless done so in many more ways than I am even aware of. After 50 years of marriage Cathy and I have an extremely high level of trust in each other, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still disappoint ourselves and each other. As a pastor I am to seek to be trustworthy, certainly, but I have let people down many times, and have wounded them with thoughtless words and actions. I have spoken too strongly at times, and I have failed to speak out of a distaste for confrontation, when that was what was needed. I am sharply aware of my own weaknesses and failures! However, God has never failed me, and He never will. I am a very imperfect vessel, but Christ has called me as His witness, (Acts 1:8) and I am to rejoice in allowing Him to use me, imperfect as I am.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for my recent surgery to remind me of my physical limitations. Today marks a week since I got out of the hospital, and I am still quite aware that my recovery isn’t yet complete. Help me have patience with my own body, taking refuge in You rather than trusting in myself, so that Your will may be done in and through me on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!