“You who have shown me great distresses and troubles will revive me again, and will bring me up again from the depths of the earth. You will increase my greatness and You will encircle and comfort me“ (Ps. 71:20-21 CEB).
The psalmist calls to God, claiming that He is the source from which all things originate. Adonai shows great distress and revives the heart and soul of those who suffer. How can this be? Doesn’t Almighty God want us to be our best selves? Why show us horrible things?
The reality is that free will is part of our gift. We respond (either positively or negatively), and others must live with our choices. When a pebble drops onto clear water, the reaction of the event produces waves to extend far away from the point of impact. Everything in the path of the waves experiences a disruption of peace.
We, as humans, know what it is like to suffer the actions of a pebble. Someone makes a choice and effects many lives. Sometimes it feels like a small rock, while other times it feels like a massive boulder caused a large title wave. Whatever the size of the stone, our actions carry consequences.
With the concept of a free will in mind, the psalmist (David) declares that his allegiance to God does not shield him from events generated from the people around him. The Holy One may show him great distress through the actions of others, but rest assure the God of our understanding will bring restoration to our souls. Others may lead us to harm, but the Creator will deliver us and provide us safety.
To those who are affected by other people’s poor choices, hear the good news, God will deliver us. We find our shelter by holding on to God’s protection. In the shadow of Divine wings, we rise out of any catastrophe that holds us hostage. We face the things that hold us down and break free to experience revitalization. Praise be to God; that we can trust in Him, especially in the harshest of circumstances.