Do you ever wake up in the morning thankful that you have a new day before you, thankful that you got through another night safely, thankful for the opportunity for rest?  I suppose that depends on what is going on in your life.  For the Psalmist, that experience is a reminder of the many ways God has dealt with him throughout his life.  The way the Lord has sustained him in even the most routine and smallest of things reassures him that God will also sustain him in the more difficult things.

This psalmist has lots of problems, lots of troubles.  And all of these carry the danger of convincing him that God is not going to be of any help to him – ‘there is no help for him in God’ is the message.  In his distress, he appeals to God.  After all, God has been his shield; God has been the defender of his honor; God has been the lifter of his head.  When he calls out to the Lord, the Lord hears him.  So why shouldn’t he appeal to God for help.  All of this helps him face these troubles – as great as they seem.  Just as he does when he lays down to sleep, even in the difficult times he must put his life in God’s hands.  So when he wakes up at the dawn of a new day, he can be more vigorous, more alert.  And when you have more energy, you know that you are able to face any fears in a stronger way.

This Psalmist knows that ‘salvation belongs to the Lord and God’s blessing is upon God’s people’.  That is his answer to all his enemies, all the troubles he faces.  God will prevail.  As we look at these psalms, notice how often many of them end with a note of confidence and thanksgiving.  After the psalmist has described all his struggles, his conclusion is that God is stronger than anything or anyone he faces.

In the baptistery of Florence, there is a wonderful statue of Mary Magdelene.  She is portrayed as a gaunt and degraded hag, but her head is lifted up, and in her eyes the carver has placed an extraordinary if desperate hope.  It is the moment in which she discovers the Savior.  One can almost hear her whisper: “There, is life for me.”  “But thou, O Lord, are the lifter of my head.”

PRAYER:  Lord God, ruler of the universe, you rescue your people from adversity even as you delivered your own Son from the grasp of death. Shield us from danger, and raise us up on the last day with all your saints to dwell with you in your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.