Be merciful unto me, O God,
be merciful unto me:
for my soul trusteth in thee:
yea, in the shadow of thy wings
will I make my refuge,
until these calamities be overpast.
~ Psalm 57:1
Some thoughts as I've taken great comfort in these words lately:
First, a prayer: mercy. I love that I can pray along with David for mercy. I love that God instructs us how to address him, that he is both the source and the object of our prayer. And that he uses David to reveal that it is not selfish or pathetic or weak of us to seek mercy.
Second, the reason I can make the petition: my soul trusteth in thee. I will look only to God for mercy, because he is the only object worthy of my trust. My only rock. The one who keeps me steadfast. I can only cry out for mercy because I have already hurled my soul headlong, confident of his trustworthiness in catching me.
Third, the place to find mercy: in the shadow of his wings. I love that picture! According to David, the shadow of his wings is the place I MAKE my refuge. It isn't a place I happen upon, or a place I may or may not find. It is the place where I have chosen to let my soul find quiet rest. It is the place where I have firmly planted myself, for the reason of trust and for the purpose of finding mercy. What rest I find in the midst of the storm when I have purposed to hide myself in the shadow of his wings!
Finally, the promise of relief. Someday, these calamities will be overpast. And there is mercy there. And comfort there. And peace HERE. Because in the midst of the calamity he provides shelter, while at the same time promising ultimate deliverance.
What comfort, what peace is found, when we hide ourselves in the shadow of God's wings, knowing that calamity will pass and mercy will prevail.