Hidden Surprises - Psalm 42


Psalm 42: 10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long,” Where is your God?"

They say that life is full of hidden surprises and this morning that turned out to be true. One of the contractors dug through a hidden gas main at the church, causing an emergency. Within minutes, fire engines and utility trucks swarmed into our parking lot. Local businesses were all shut down and for about an hour everything was intense. An explosion could have occurred at any time, but thankfully the professionals managed to cap the pipe and quickly repair it.

This all happened because the pipe was not where it was supposed to be. A painted yellow line was meant to indicate where the pipe actually was, but it turns out that the gas pipe was twelve feet away from the line. Someone somewhere had made a serious miscalculation, which could have resulted in a fatal explosion. If the pipe had been properly located, this mistake would not have occurred. Knowing where the pipe actually rests is crucial to our church building expansion.

The writer of Psalm 42 must have been deeply troubled and tormented. His painful experience causes those around him to question whether or not God actually existed. The inevitable question of ‘where is God when it hurts?’ must have crossed his mind, so he dug deep into his soul to find an answer. And that’s where he found God, right at the heart of his suffering, right in the midst of his pain.

We each go through ‘dark nights of the soul’ and faith crises. In the midst of heartbreak, illness, and sorrow, it’s very easy to lose our hold of God, But, as one of my Hebrew professors used to say, “It’s not our grasp of God that is important, but that God still has a grasp of us.” In other words, knowing where God is located is not as crucial as God knowing where we are.

Prayer: Lord God, life is full of hidden surprises and we seek Your presence every day. It helps us to know that You are with us, no matter what we experience or endure. Reveal to us of Your whereabouts this day and remind us that Your knowledge of us is far more important than our knowledge of You. In Christ’s Name, we pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send John an email to pastor@erinpresbyterian.org.

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