“Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.” (Psalm 119:165)
Sleepy eyed at first, I come to be with you early in the day before the hours rear back their heads and gallop away. Before other noises crash into my world, I sit with pen in hand and coffee cup as staunch companion, anticipating hearing your clear directions. You have met me in the stillness time and again; you will meet me once more.
Wading through the length of Psalm 119, I run into countless declarations of the superiority of your word. And yet in the very first verse I encounter today, you rivet my eyes to an astounding phrase: “My heart stands in awe of your words” (Psalm 119:161). You are asking your children to be amazed and overwhelmed with the grandeur of your voice, to have a heart that applauds what you reveal in every line and phrase. I am beckoned to stand at attention in honor of your Word as if royalty were walking by; I am to lean into the crowd to catch a glimpse of the wonder camouflaged in black print on onionskin paper.
In the verses that follow, you illustrate just why your words deserve such reception. Learning, knowing, and receiving your Word is equivalent to finding “great spoil” (Psalm 119: 162). In the leather-covered manual at my fingertips, I have ready access to riches that transcend any monetary possession. What is a gift that money cannot buy, that no power or position can acquire for us? Verse 165 makes it clear: “Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.”
Of course my heart should celebrate! Knowing how easily my world unravels, you supply your particular brand of peace as I seek to love and live out your laws— not just the run-of-the-mill kind of false security, but peace that gives me the deepest sense of confidence as I experience your presence. You offer peace that keeps me from being out of balance and unsteady when life wrestles me to the ground.
Now I am wide awake in wonder. The day and all its demands sprint to meet me, but the God of heaven and earth has given me his word. I need nothing else.
Elizabeth A. Mitchell