Jenny's Psalm Reflections: 55 verse 22

Today’s verse is Psalm 55 VERSE 22

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you.”

Background:

Psalm 55 in some Bible versions is entitled “Complaint about a Friend’s Treachery.” Again, like Psalm 54, it speaks of emotions we generally do not want to discuss openly, let alone with God. David is said to have written this Psalm during the early stages of Absalom’s conspiracy against him. David was still in Jerusalem and the revolt against him was gathering pace. Absalom was David’s third son and it seems that the “friend” of verses 13 was David’s counsellor, Ahithophel, who had sided with Absalom.

It’s normal to feel let down in life and I doubt if anyone reading this has not been let down! Undoubtedly, it is more difficult, when someone we love or have trusted, especially a friend or family member, has let us down. David exhibited the typical “fight-flight” reaction about his situation. He talks about running away in verses 1-8 and wishes that he had “wings like a dove” (verse 6) to escape. He also talks about fighting and destruction in verses 9-15. But then, finally, at the end of the Psalm and highlighted in verse 22 he talks about placing his burdens in the hands of the Lord and almost flying above his troubles. It reminds me of the words of Jesus in Matthew 11 verse 28: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” which forms the basis of a wonderful aria in Handel’s Messiah.

For me, when I had a period of illness, there were friends who stood by me the whole way, in constant contact and showing support. There were other friends who drifted off the scene until I was recovered and then drifted back into the friends’ circle again. I could have felt hurt and angry but sometimes people find it difficult to see illness in someone they care for, and it also may bring up emotions of their own mortality for them. I tried not to judge, placed the situation in God’s hands, and that at least made me feel at ease with myself.

Meditation

1. Think about something or someone you're struggling with 

Think of an issue or person you are struggling with and finding it hard to forgive.

2. FIND A QUIET PLACE. 

Make sure that you are in a quiet place. Sit comfortably but alert – feet flat on the floor, back pushed hard against the back of the chair. Start your reflection with hands cupped open ready to be open to God’s presence.

3. Focus on your breathing.

Pay attention to in-breaths and out-breaths. You may think of breathing in God’s life and peace and breathing out any tension.

4. Be aware of your body.

Let your aches and pains be there. Rest your hands in your lap; you don’t need to be doing anything with them now. Rest your feet on the floor; you don’t need to go anywhere. Shrug your shoulders, ease your neck. Take time to become still…

5. Say the verses aloud to yourself.

Say verse 22 to yourself and bring your “burden” to God. Place it “in your cupped hands.”

6. Release your concern

6.Close the prayer with your hands now turned over the other way as you release your concern, and hand it over to your God, your sustainer.  Finish by listening to the aria “Come unto Him” from The Messiah.

Listen here

7. Finish with this prayer:

Loving God, in times of fear and dread, when others let us down and we are hurt, help us to cast our burdens upon you. Let us feel our worries lifted and taken away on the wings of your Holy Spirit and give us peace. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen. 

Posted on October 7th 2021

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