A Reflection on Psalm 25

“I trust in you, let me not be disappointed…Those who hope in you shall not be disappointed…Those who hope in you shall not be disappointed…Do not disappoint me, you are my refuge.” (taken from Thursday Week I, Daytime Prayer)

Disappointment: It seems like a common theme in the psalm, especially in this selection from Daytime Prayer today. And as is true with any of the Psalms, in teaching us how to pray, God shows us again that He understands us. He knows we get disappointed.

But at what are we disappointed? We trust in God to be our refuge, yet often times, we feel like He’s not home, like we’ve been abandoned. In some of our darkest hours, when we need our Friend the most, we don’t experience Him; if God is goodness, surely, if He is with us, we can feel some joy in those moments. But we don’t: Is He even still there?

“Job” by Leon Bonnat, 1860.

Let us look to our Lord Jesus Christ. Here was Emmanuel, God-with-us, comforting Jairus (Luke 8:49-55), despite being ridiculed because our Lord knew what he was about to do for Jairus’s daughter. St. John reminds us that this same Emmanuel wept at the death of his friend Lazarus even though he himself knew what he was about to do (John 11:1-44).

Again, let us look to our crucified Lord. He suffered literal excruciating pain (from the Latin “ex cruce,” or “from the cross”); imagine the blood, the trauma, the gutteral wails from him who was God-come-down. How could he who is God Himself cry out, wondering why God had abandoned him (Mark 15:34), who is supposedly God-with-us? And yet he did, and the crowd ridiculed him for it. And yet he remained ever-faithful. “And because of this, God highly exalted him,” for His “power is made perfect in weakness” (Phil 2:9; 2 Cor 12:9). How unlike our expectations!

So what are we truly disappointed in? Is it God’s absence, or that He failed to meet our expectations? Once we come to this crossroad, we truly need only to look towards God-with-us on the cross to find our answer: We necessarily come to the conclusion that God is indeed with us. When we hurt, our souls frantically seek God (whether or not we know it). Let us then direct ourselves to the foot of the cross where our Lord commended his spirit to the Father with an unreserved love, a hopeful trust. In this faithful trust, this hopeful trust, this loving trust, may we find God as our refuge, and may He be our strong refuge that never disappoints.

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord

R. Who made heaven and earth.

“You move us to delight in praising You; for You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” -St. Augustine

from “The Adoration of the Trinity” by Albrecht Durer, 1511.

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