The Lord is my light and my salvation;If God is my light, my salvation, and my stronghold, it means I am not. Am I ready for that? God's light cannot be extinguished. What He saves cannot be destroyed. What He protects cannot be harmed.
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
One thing have I asked of the Lord,If I could ask one thing of God, would this be it? If not, then I probably don't have the right context from which to understand and experience what His protection and His goodness really are—instead, I want Him to come bless my house, to make clear my path, to give His blessing to my agenda. If He loves me, He will thwart me in that until my desire is for Him:
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in His temple.
You have said, “Seek My face.”His goodness isn't just limited to the hereafter; I can look with hope to see it in this world. Yet my eyes must be opened to see His goodness, which may look very different from my own paltry, self-centered definition.
My heart says to You,
“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
—Psalm 27:8, 13-14
I remember hearing (perhaps mistakenly) that the same word in Hebrew can be translated as "wait" or "hope." In our culture, we have given up nearly all capacity to wait, so it's little wonder we've forgotten how to hope. Much of what we call "hope" is simply wishing—a pale, poor substitute. Largely, we are used to either getting what we want when and how we want it, or not getting it and despairing.
But Scripture is about almost nothing so much as waiting, measured in years, decades, and generations. Israel's story and the gospel itself is about waiting, about deliverance from exile, about restoration. Perhaps we are never so close to God as when we wait for Him, and perhaps this is why so many of Jesus' parables and exhortations were concerned with how we wait for Him. It is the nature of our story.
I came away from this psalm praying a most disruptive prayer: that I would be ruined for everything but Him. That's what happens between a bride and her bridegroom, and what must happen between the Church and Christ. As in a marriage, this comes both from deep changing of heart as well as a will directed by the marriage covenant. All our other joys and pleasures must have meaning only through the singular desire David articulates here, and when this is so, all of life will truly come alive. Our longing will be for Him, rather than a desperation to fill our lack of Him with other stuff.
And He is coming for us. And He is here for us.