Daily D – Psalm 57:10
For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. PSALM 57:10 (NLT)
One of my favorite quotes says, “If at first you don’t succeed, you are about average.” The first time we try something new is usually the worst time. We improve with practice. Developing skills to play a musical instrument or to compete in athletics requires repeated effort. Muscle memory requires many repetitions to become automatic. If there is one thing most athletes learn to loathe, it is hearing their coaches say, “One more time.”
We also tend to see what we are looking for. We train our minds with a particular worldview. Then we see what we expect everywhere we look. Some people see only problems. Others see only opportunities. This may not be as stark a difference as it is often portrayed. Instead, it may be alternate ways of assessing problems. There is more than one way to solve just about every problem. First, we have to be clear about the problem.
Let’s say Ol’ Billy Bob has added a few pounds during his COVID-19 sequestration. Before we jump in with a solution, let’s be clear: What’s the problem?
- Is Billy Bob lazy?
- Is he eating all the wrong stuff?
- Is he staying up too late and sleeping in every morning?
- Is he struggling emotionally in an increasingly unhealthy manner?
- Is his wife struggling and preparing meals that are comforting but also fattening?
If we do not correctly assess the problem, we cannot correctly repair it.
David Before He Was King had a problem. The king, King Saul, his father-in-law, was out to murder him. David was a warrior. He was a successful warrior. He was a better warrior than King Saul. What’s the problem here? Why not take him out and get on with the good life? Because Saul was anointed by God as king. While that anointing had been removed by God, David was not at liberty to remove Saul himself. God would have to do that.
David was stuck between a king prone to lash out irrationally and with deadly intent and a future he could see but not touch. David was living in the Land of Not Yet. Daily life had to feel like the Fire Swamp from The Princess Bride. There you never know when flames would erupt, the ground would give way underneath you, or giant rodents would drag you away.
David had a problem he could not solve. He had an issue he could only manage moment by moment and day by day. God alone could solve this problem. How did David survive his season of uncertainty? In v. 3, early in his song, he said, “My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.” The more he looked for God’s unfailing love and faithfulness, the more he saw it, the more he experienced it. He returns to this theme expansively in v. 10:
For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
The bigger the problem became, the bigger David saw and experienced God. From v. 3 to v. 10, there is expansion. There is multiplication. There is exponential growth in understanding. David went from looking up at Saul to looking beyond him to God. As hateful and as unstable as Saul was, God was rock solid steady and dependable. The more David looked for God, the more he found him. The more he experienced him, the better he understood his true nature of unfailing love and unending faithfulness.
David’s problem was not avoiding his murderous father-in-law. David’s opportunity was developing a deep and abiding relationship with God. Every morning he arose before the sun not in dread, but in praise (v. 8). He led everyone to join him in praise and thanksgiving for how good God is (v. 9). His God-confidence grew with every passing day (v. 7). How could he not sing?
The more we see God for who he is, the greater our confidence grows (vv. 7, 10). This is true no matter the circumstances. For David, it was the fear of untimely death. For us, it is COVID-19 and its worldwide collateral damage. In both of these cases, and any other you can imagine, the more we see God for who he is, the greater our confidence grows.
I will exit this season with an expanded understanding of how good God is.
Our Father, you are bigger than all my problems lumped together. You are better than I can imagine. You are more loving and patient that I deserve. Empower us to reframe our thinking about the problems before us. Teach us how to look beyond them for evidence of your unfailing love and your enduring faithfulness. Amen.
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Daily D – Psalm 143:8-10
Psalm 143:8-10 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Daily D – Psalm 142:5
Psalm 142:5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”
Daily D – Ezra 3:11-13
Ezra 3:11-13 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid. But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 35:22-25
2 Chronicles 35:22-25 After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, and Josiah and his army marched out to fight him. But King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: “What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back. Instead, he disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo. But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him. He cried out to his men, “Take me from the battle, for I am badly wounded!”
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 32:31
2 Chronicles 32:31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.