The Upper Room Devotion for Monday, August 14, 2023, was written by Marko Pal'a of Presov Region in Slovakia.
8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in mortals. 9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. 10 All nations surrounded me; in the name of the Lord I cut them off! 11 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side; in the name of the Lord I cut them off! 12 They surrounded me like bees; they blazed like a fire of thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off! 13 I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me. 14 The Lord is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation. 15 There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the Lord does valiantly; 16 the right hand of the Lord is exalted;the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”
Psalms 118:8-16 NRSV
When things go wrong, it can feel as if a heavy weight has fallen on our shoulders; in desperation to fix the problem we turn to others for help. When we need to deal with paperwork, repair a car, or seek medical help, we know where to turn to get the assistance we need. But what happens when the person who is supposed to help us falls or doesn't have time? We may blame them for our problems, or we may even blame God.
When we seek the help of other people before we seek God's help, we lose sight of the central tenet of our faith: Christ is our salvation. We need to put all our hope in God because God is the ultimate source of our rescue. God knows every part of our lives, understands what we are going through, and is ready to move us toward the help we need. When we prioritize our relationship with God, we make room for God to act in our lives. When Christ is first in our lives, we can sense God's presence in every situation.
Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of salvation. Forgive us when we fail to put you first in our lives. Amen.