In reading the commentaries on Psalm 69:30-36, it was apparent that in order to get a true picture of what the Psalmist is saying, the entire Psalm needed to be read.  Upon further review, I can break down what is going on here as follows:  In verses 1-29, David is basically venting about a time of trial and tribulation, but he ends with today’s passage, in which he gives thanks for all that God has and has yet to provide.  Verses 31-32 say that this will be more pleasing to God than any burnt offering.

After reading and reflecting on the entire psalm, I am trying to imagine what David may have been enduring at the time.  I am sure it was much worse than some of those days that I call difficult or stressful.  I think about how in times of trouble, how I tend to internalize the bad, let things simmer for way too long, and then finally, the tea kettle erupts and I lose my cool with someone who most likely wasn’t deserving of that sort of treatment.

We all have been there before I am willing to bet.  Sometimes, probably more often than we would like to admit.  What I do know for sure though, is that in times of trouble, sometimes I do something similar to what David has done in this psalm and instead of focusing on the situation, I try to focus on God and what he has done for me.  I find that when I reflect on all that I have to be thankful for, and what God has yet to provide for me, it helps set my mind at ease and reflect on what really matters most.  It may make for a bad day when I don’t get my coffee in the morning, forget my wallet at home, have negative interactions with a co-worker or student, and then get the pile of papers to grade added to the mix, but as a friend of mine always says, “this too shall pass.”  A day, month, or even year later, most of the things that stress me out won’t matter even a little bit, but God and God’s love are everlasting.  And for that, I give thanks.

Matt Blaser