Psalm 73:25 “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.”
Have you ever felt like the Psalmist? He looks at the state of the world around him and sees those far less upright than him prospering. The rich and ruthless seem to be succeeding in all their plans. Their arrogance knows no limit— not even seeing God as superior to themselves. Yet they appear to flourish. It can be downright depressing. No wonder the Psalmist complains, “I’ve kept myself pure in vain!” (v.13). What’s the use of living a righteous life if sin is rewarded and virtue punished?
But there’s something wrong with this picture. The more the Psalmist focuses on the easy life of the wicked, the more his perspective becomes skewed. He begins to see them as having no problems, no burdens, no sicknesses. His exaggerated view of their carefree existence has launched him into nonreality. A nonreality where envy, bitterness and despair find fertile ground.
Until he enters the sanctuary of God…and the lightbulb goes on (v.17). Have you noticed how the presence of the Lord has the power to refocus us on the things that matter? His presence has a way of reconnecting us to his sovereign grace and restoring our wounded souls.
I’m sorry to say, my perspective on the world can get as distorted as the Psalmist’s. I sometimes lay awake at night worrying about the direction of our country, fretting over injustices, or mourning over inconsolable losses. The more I fret, the more distorted my vision.
Until I remember (or someone reminds me) God is waiting for me to draw near. As I shift my focus to him, I find peace even in the darkness. I realize I can trust him as much when I don’t see him as when I do. And that’s a good thing.
So today I’m answering the rhetorical question Asaph posed to God in Psalm 73 with the same unabashed assurance. Lord, I have no one on earth or heaven but you. Not one. Nada. Zilch. My emotions flail. My strength wanes. But you remain. And that is enough.
How about you? My friend, don’t agonize over things you can’t control. Not another minute. Enter the sanctuary of the Lord. He will do the rest.