“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1 (NIV)
Sitting on the bathroom floor with mascara-streaked cheeks, I sobbed. “Lord, do You even care about my problems?”
As soon as the words left my lips, guilt overcame me. Women who want children suffer from infertility, people who need paychecks lose their jobs, and the homeless who need beds sleep on the streets. Meanwhile, I bemoaned a child who wouldn't sleep through the night, a husband who worked late into the evening, and a messy house that seemed impossible to keep organized and tidy.
No doubt my moments of distress pale compared to that of most people, but does that mean God cares less about them or about me? Does He view me as whiny and selfish because I express discontentment or cry out for solace in circumstances that cause me angst?
When I find myself discouraged and disheartened, I open the book of Psalms. Over 70% of the book depicts woe and lament, a passionate expression of grief or sorrow. Centuries before the famous blues musician B.B. King lived, there was David, a veritable “King of the Blues.” Reading through the Psalms feels like reading David's diary. It reveals David's unedited, unfiltered relationship with God, riddled with the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.
Psalm 40 provides an intimate look at David's beseeching the Lord to save him and God’s loving and compassionate response: “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry” (Psalm 40:1). David further states that God lifted him out of a “pit of destruction” and “miry bog” and set his feet upon a rock, making his steps safe and secure (ESV).
Instead of simply thanking the Lord and moving on, David praised God for His faithfulness, righteousness and love in the next 14 verses. David hadn't just asked God to deliver him on that one occasion; he had implored Him not to withhold mercy and to rescue him time and time again, which God did.
Motherhood had landed me on the bathroom floor, exhausted, depleted and desperate for a break. Feeling trapped, I prayed God would somehow make a way for me to have a few hours to recharge. Alas, the day passed, night fell, and a new morning dawned with the familiar wails of my baby girl.
Except on that morning, my baby was not the only one demanding my attention — my phone was dinging. A lady from church called to invite my daughters over for the afternoon. A few hours later, a friend called to tell me she thought I would benefit from a night that did not involve cooking or cleaning. Then, just minutes later, my husband sent a text saying his afternoon meeting had been canceled, followed by the suggestion I go out with a friend and “take the night off.”
Instantly, I thought, Wow! I can’t believe this is all working out today. What luck! It wasn’t luck. It was a gracious heavenly Father who heard my cries and orchestrated a way to lift me out of my “miry bog.”
Friend, I don’t know what weighs on your heart, but I am confident in this: God knows you, and He cares about you, including all of your burdens, heavy or light.
Our heavenly Father created us for fellowship. He loves us and desires an intimate relationship with us. He delights in our singing, praising and shouting thanksgiving to Him, but He also wants us to go to Him when we are hurting, upset and dismayed by life. Call on the Lord; He sees and hears you.
Heavenly Father, thank You for being our helper and deliverer when we are troubled. May we seek a deep, close relationship with You in times of pain as well as in times of joy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (ESV)
Philippians 4:6, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (NLT)
You asked, and it’s finally here: our very first Advent study! The holidays remind us of things we are waiting for. And right now, the world is weary from waiting. But there is still a reason to rejoice this year. Jesus, the Promised One, the Prince of Peace, has come, and He is going to come again. Pointing to the Promise begins November 16 in the First 5 app. Click here to order your Study Guide today!
On her site today, Laura is sharing a downloadable print of today’s key verse, Psalm 40:1. Click to print yours.
REFLECT AND RESPOND
Do you ever withhold prayer requests because you feel your problems are insignificant?
What’s one thing that’s heavy on your heart you haven’t brought before God? Take a moment to do so now.
We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.
© 2020 by Laura Bailey. All rights reserved.
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