May 5, 2005

this leaning wall, this tottering fence

My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress' I will never be shaken.

How long will you assault a man?

Would all of you throw him down --
this leaning wall, this tottering fence?

They fully intend to topple him
from his lofty place;
they take delight in lies.
With their mouths they blessl
but in their hearts they curse.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.

Have you ever seen any of those pictures from an Irish hillside. There is this beautiful landscape, and criss-crossed across the hills are these ancient stone fences. The ones that were built by hand hundreds of years ago. Usually when I see these scenes, it is on some public television station, and there is this old, pipe-smoking guy telling the viewers how each piece of stone was carefully placed to make such a time-enduring piece of architecture. But then right next to him is this section of stone fence that has toppled to the ground.

Which, frankly, is exactly what I expected to happen. I mean, look at those fences, there is no mortar, no internal lattice-work to keep it all together; yet there are sections of those fences that have outlasted anything else from the time period when it was built. But there are always those weak sections that are in the wall, maybe a piece of stone wasn't placed just right or at some point in the past there was a major jolt to this piece of wall, but whatever it is, this is what I think of when I read this passage.

A leaning wall, a tottering fence: this is me.

But my God is not like that leaning, teetering wall. He is a strong tower. He is an unshakable fortress. And as long as I am in Him, this mortarless wall is still here.

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