By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen, First Baptist Church, Spearfish, SD
After we moved from a farm to Minneapolis, MN, when he was well into his sixties, he got a job as a custodian at a small college on Nicollet Avenue in south Minneapolis. One spring, he, the custodian, was the speaker at the graduation. How often does that happen? But let me go back to when I was in grade school on the farm. One of my memories of Dad was that he taught me how to walk on water. Our farm was lakeside property, with the house being about 300′ from Drywood Lake. One day, Dad told me we were going to visit neighbors on the other side of the lake, and he said we were going to walk on the lake to get there. Fortunately, it was in the cold of winter, and the lake was frozen. But even so, I was apprehensive about walking across the frozen lake to visit neighbors because I had never done so before. I knew we could fall through the ice and drown. However, I followed Dad onto the lake, and we began the walk to the neighbors. As I walked behind him, I could see and hear the ice crack, and I could feel it sometimes dip a little under our weight. It was somewhat scary, though it did not cause me to panic. Dad seemed confident that we were not in danger, and that gave me confidence to follow along.
For the Music Director. To the melody of “Silent Dove at a Distance.” A Miktam of David, when the Philistines seized him in Gath.
1 Be gracious to me, O God, for man would crush me;
all day long he who battles oppresses me.
2 All day long my enemies would crush me,
for there are many who arrogantly battle against me.
3 In the day when I am afraid,
I will trust in You.
4 In God whose word I praise,
in God I have trusted; I will not fear.
What can mere flesh do to me?
5 Every day they twist my words;
all their thoughts are against me for evil.
6 They stir up strife, they lurk,
they watch my steps,
when they wait for my life.
7 Should there be deliverance for them on account of wickedness?
In Your anger cast down the peoples, O God.
8 You take account of my wandering;
put my tears in Your bottle;
are they not in Your book?
9 In the day I cry to You,
then my enemies will turn back;
this I know, that God is for me.
10 In God whose word I praise,
in the Lord whose word I praise,
11 in God I trust, I will not fear;
what can a man do to me?
12 Your vows are on me, O God;
I will complete them with thank offerings to You;
13 for You have delivered my soul from death,
even my feet from stumbling,
to walk before God
in the light of the living.