1 Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. 2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to[a] those he loves. 3 Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.
I love this psalm – it is like a thunder clap that resounds in my ears: “is God in this?”
Because if he is, I am labouring with purpose, meaning and confidence that God will take my efforts and make them stand for something beautiful, something God wants to support.
If he is not, then I am building sand castles. My efforts may keep me occupied, but they contribute nought to the truly meaningful, the truly beautiful, the truly eternal.
This psalm reminds me that I need people in my life who can check me, people who have permission to ask me the question – “Is God in this?” It is a question that can bring pain; but what could be more painful than a life spent on the futile, a life spent on things that are washed away with the next high tide?
Lord, help me accept the pain of a life giving word that gets me back on your track, to the house that you are building. I want to be working with you, not on my own. Amen
Written by Andrew Mellor