Lord, I seek refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me.
Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily. Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me.
You are indeed my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,
take me out of the net that is hidden for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.
You hate those who pay regard to worthless idols, but I trust in the Lord.
I will exult and rejoice in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction;
you have taken heed of my adversities, and have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy;
you have set my feet in a broad place.
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye wastes away from grief,
my soul and body also. For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my misery, and my bones waste away.
I am the scorn of all my adversaries, a horror to my neighbors, an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me.
I have passed out of mind like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel.
For I hear the whispering of many— terror all around!—as they scheme together against me,
as they plot to take my life.
But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hand;
deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors. Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your steadfast love. Do not let me be put to shame, O Lord, for I call on you;
let the wicked be put to shame; let them go dumbfounded to Sheol. Let the lying lips be stilled
that speak insolently against the righteous with pride and contempt.
O how abundant is your goodness that you have laid up for those who fear you, and accomplished for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of everyone!
In the shelter of your presence you hide them from human plots; you hold them safe under your shelter from contentious tongues.
Blessed be the Lord, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was beset as a city under siege. I had said in my alarm, I am driven far from your sight.’
But you heard my supplications when I cried out to you for help.
Love the Lord, all you his saints. The Lord preserves the faithful, but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord. Psalm 31
Dear Aunt Elizabeth,
It has been relatively quiet today and I have had time to be with Joseph alone. We talked of our life after the baby is born. Joseph is worried about whether he can find employment when we return home, as some of the men from the temple have been so harsh. I reminded him that he was the best carpenter around for many miles. If our people wouldn't hire him, he could always work for the Romans or others who are developing properties around the area. And I can help by doing my part. I am beginning to be so excited about our lives as husband and wife, At home there was always worries and troubles, but here, in this little oasis, cared for these wizened but lively elders, everything seems possible.
Joseph has been reading the King's psalms to me and we have been singing some of them. Having time together has been a wonderful gift. "Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait upon the Lord." I love that song and that line in particular. As soon as the worries sneak in I just try to remember those words and sing them as loudly as possible. No one here seems to mind, although I suspect they are both pretty deaf. At home, Momma nerves were on edge , and I had to be quiet so much. I feel much more rested and secure, ready for the journey ahead.
Aunt Elizabeth, I hope we can see each other soon. I have so many questions to ask you and can't wait to see little John. I know they are making you rest too because they think you are too old. I know you better - when no one is looking you are probably up cooking and cleaning, buzzing around like the busy bee that you truly are! I'll keep your secret, don't worry.