For the last month I have been reflecting and returning to Psalm 31:19.
Psalm 31 is a desperate cry of David in trouble. In Psalm 31 David speaks of “enemies…peril…a trap… troubles… crisis… weeping…grief…feeling sapped and deserted”. The psalms are David’s journal. He lays out his heart to the Lord – the reality of his situations and emotions. And then David merges - sometimes it seems more like a collision - his reality with what he believes to be true about the Lord. Faith does not deny life’s realities, but it sees them through the lens of the truth about God who is unchanging. And in Psalm 31:19 David, in the midst of severe trouble, reminds himself of something that is true about the Lord, How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world. (Psalm 31:19)
David is remembering that the Lord pours out His goodness on people of faith, so the world sees that goodness in our lives. God stores up His goodness in order to pour it out upon those trusting Him.
In other words, the Lord is the opposite of a horder. A few disturbing facts about our ‘hording materialistic’ culture that we live in. The storage unit industry is a $154 billion business which is bigger than the Hollywood film industry. Last year Americans spent $22 billion dollars to store stuff that we are not using. There are 2.3 billion square feet of self-storage in the US – which equates to 7 square feet of storage per person whether adult, child, infant. It is a growing industry. The average American home has gotten larger, yet the self-storage business is growing ever faster. As a nation, we Americans have a ‘hording’ problem. We hold onto stuff we no longer use. We even pay to hang onto it. No doubt there are a variety of reasons – nostalgia, family belongings from parents and relatives now in assisted living or now deceased, etc., etc.
My point is not that we are horders (though it may benefit us to do a bit of soul searching). Rather, it strikes me how much the Lord is NOT a horder. Let Psalm 31:19 invite and draw you as it has for me, How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.
When I am experiencing trials I ask the Lord to use the trials – to grow me and glorify Himself through my difficulties, needs, and shortcomings.
Psalm 31:19 has opened up a new window of prayer for me – asking for the Lord’s ‘goodness’ to be poured out upon my life, so that others are drawn to him.
Maybe the Lord has no storage unit. Rather than being a horder, He looks to give away His goodness. And it is you and me, people of faith that catch his eye. It is not about deserving or earning His goodness. It is about His nature – he gives, He delights in pouring out, sharing and showing His goodness.
Here I am Lord, raising my hand – in the midst of my up and down life, pour out Your goodness into and through my life so others will see You. And may we be like You – pouring good things to others rather than hording for ourselves.