Daily D – Psalm 40:1-3
Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.” (NLT)
Sometimes waiting is more of a testimony of trust in God than vigorous activity. Waiting is by definition longer than a momentary pause. Waiting on God is more than being still and silent. It involves leaning in to listen. It trusts that God will speak, will provide direction, and will supply what we need when we need it.
In the movie Silverado, Kevin Costner’s character Jake is broken out of jail. He and Kevin Kline’s character Paden have a brief conversation:
“What do we do now?” Paden asks.
“We wait,” Jake replies.
There is a momentary pause before Jake then says, “Let’s go.”
That’s how many people wait. Momentary pauses slow us, but don’t stop us long enough to listen.
Momentary pauses arrest activity, but do not stop us long enough for God to tell us what to do next.
Momentary pauses produce silence, but invite unnecessary conversation.
Momentary pauses provide time to look for necessary resources, but take what is at hand rather than seeking what only God can provide.
This is a perfect mixture of thought and activity to do our will our way. This is also how we end up in one mess or another day by day.
What happened, on the other hand, when King David waited on God?
“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.”
Verse 1 tells us God turned to him and heard his cry. When we weep, God listens. When we are afraid, he knows. When we are distressed, he pays close attention.
“He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.”
Verse 2 tells us God took action. He lifted David out of the pit of despair. Despair is about hopelessness and loss. When we wait on God, he provides hope for our hearts and a hand for our rescue. We find ourselves stuck in the mud in one moment, followed by a much better moment when God sets our feet on solid ground and steadies us as we walk in the direction of his purpose for us.
King David knew how to sing sad songs in minor keys. We have many to choose from in Psalms. Notice how many of his songs start sad and end glad. There is something about taking our pains and problems to God that reorients our perspective and renews our faith. Dirges become dances. Take a look at verses 3 through 5 for evidence.
Are you in a waiting season? Wait. Tell God all about your troubles. Know that he knows. Trust that he will guide and provide. Keep waiting until God says Go. Wait until hie puts a new song in your heart and a new dance in your feet. Listen for the music of heaven and step in time to God’s tune for your better future.
I will wait when it is time to wait, and I will sing a new song of praise to God who lifts my malaise.
Our Father, you are worth the wait. Your attention is comforting. Your provision is humbling. Your songs lift my heart. Your tune puts a spring in my step. May others see what you do for me and take courage that you will do it for them as well. May my waiting tell the story of your mercy and grace my words cannot bear. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”