Isn't it funny how things can resolve themselves with a little purposeful calm? Before Christmas things were a bit fraught, what with medical worries, Rachel's mum having a funny turn (which may or may not have been a stroke) and a complaint raised against me at work by a member of the public. All quite stressful. But by not panicking, following procedures and keeping calm and getting on with the job, all has passed. The doctor has given me a tablet, the mother in law has belatedly gone to see the GP and said what actually happened and work have just sent a letter to the complainant saying that, after due investigation, I was simply following guidelines and there was no grounds to the complaint. Once upon a time I'd have been in a total tizz over this and probably as drunk as a skunk in the meantime. Now I've come through with dignity and reputation intact. And still sober and in employment.
Some words from Matthew Henry 's Commentary on Psalm 31 seem apposite: "God will be sure to order and dispose all for the best, to all those who commit their spirits also into his hand. The time of life is in God's hands, to lengthen or shorten, make bitter or sweet, according to the counsel of his will. The way of man is not in himself, nor in our friend's hands, nor in our enemies' hands, but in God's. In this faith and confidence he prays that the Lord would save him for his mercies's sake, and not for any merit of his own. He prophesies the silencing of those that reproach and speak evil of the people of God." The Psalm itself is a source of comfort:
2Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.
3For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.
4Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.
5Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.
6I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the Lord.
7I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
8And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.
9Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.
10For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
11I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.
12I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.
13For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.
14But I trusted in thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my God.
15My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
16Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake.
17Let me not be ashamed, O Lord; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.
18Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
19Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
20Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
21Blessed be the Lord: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.
22For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.
23O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
24Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.