In You I Take My Refuge

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David’s psalms are some of the most beautiful and expressive prayers ever written. With the clarity of the best poetry, they move both our minds and our souls to recognize God and to reflect on our dependence on him. That they are inspired by God is also clear. It is because of this that we still use them today to center our hearts on the One who is faithfully present to us at all times, in all places, whose wisdom always guides us towards righteousness, whose love nourishes us, and whose mercy lifts us up out of darkness. In that light, let us read, pray, and meditate on the following verses from Psalm 16:

ʺPreserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord.
My happiness lies in you alone.’

O Lord, it is you who are my portion and my cup:
You yourself who secure my lot.
Pleasant places are marked out for me;
A pleasing heritage indeed is mine!

I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel,
Who even at night directs my heart.
I keep the Lord before me always;
With him at my right hand, I shall not be moved.ʺ

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Like David, I too, desire that God preserve me from the troubles that lurk in the corners of every day life. I know that the world cannot offer me the happiness that my soul desires, that only my Lord can do that. I pray that he will open my ears and my heart to this wisdom every day.

Like David, I know that the Lord is the only one who can satisfy my hunger for the good, for justice, and for peace, that he alone is the cup of plenty that will slake my thirst for righteousness. My soul yearns for the pleasant places that he has marked out for me. I know, too, that my ʺheritageʺ is not material, not of this world, but of the world to come. I know that while I live, I must live for God alone. I know that this is the road to my happiness here on earth and to my heritage in heaven with him forever.

Like David, I thank God for the counsel he gives me every day through my conscience, through the living words of the scriptures, and through the times of silence and solitude I give to prayer in his presence each day. I know that even as I sleep he directs my heart to him. I pray that he will light my mind with thoughts of him at all times, that he will guard me from the foe, that he will help me to joyfully bend my will to his in all that I do and say, and that he will guide me in his ways all the days of my life. Let us pray all of this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.