I muse this morning while watching my wife sleep in a hospital bed. I read a Facebook post by a friend that their unborn baby’s life here on earth closed after a short 20 weeks. In a few hours, I will stand at a grave with a family grieving. Yes, my soul is heavy, but even a few hours ago, while I walked outside at 3 am I looked up to see a beautiful moon-lit sky and somehow sensed His Presence as I breathed my prayers for those in need.
St. John of the Cross refers to our times of trials, when God allows us to walk in suffering and sorrows as the “dark night of the soul.” Others speak of being spiritually “dry ” – the soul thirsty for the Lord’s love and care. In these times we need to know that the tempter will try to make think only of ourselves, feeling that some failure in us has caused to turn away. Should the Devil succeed a sense of false guilt piles on top of our weariness, our sadness, our pain! There is a better way …
David says “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” (Psalm 40:1-2, NIV) “Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.” (Psalm 40:4, NIV) “For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me. Be pleased, O LORD, to save me; O LORD, come quickly to help me.” (Psalm 40:12-13, NIV)
First we wait! “Waiting” is not passive resignation to our circumstances. We ‘wait for the Lord’ with an attentive heart, with hope, and in obedience. We know that God is at work, not on our timetable, perhaps not even to do what we think needs to be done, but to bring about His purposes. This promise is what steadies us while we wait for Him.
Then, we trust. Trust is not a once and done kind of experience. Trust is built over time and then requires maintenance. When we hit a rough spot in the road, when we are feeling loss, other ‘gods’ may appear to offer solace or even solution. But, we ‘fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,’ and in this choice – made today, then again tomorrow, and the day after that – we discover the blessings of the Lord. Will you trust? Note, the question is not can we trust, but rather will we?
And, we pray. God does not tire of our tears. He never wearies of hearing our pleas. If we quit talking to Him, out of bitterness or despair, we have made a terrible choice. The conversation, no matter how hard, even how angry, is important. “Be pleased, O Lord, to save me!”
If you are bearing the silence of God, join me in an earnest prayer for faithfulness!
This was what I asked of Him today –
that He would see my weakness and make it an opportunity to display His power,
that He would defend me against the Destroyer and keep me faithful.
Ask Him the same. He will do it, for His glory and His own Name’s sake.
Here is a word from the Word –
“Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
When I felt secure, I said, “I will never be shaken.”
O LORD, when you favored me, you made my mountain stand firm;
but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.
To you, O LORD, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy:
“What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me; O LORD, be my help.”
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and
clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.” (Psalm 30:4-12, NIV)