"Sing this with me...this is 40."
So begins the live version of U2's song drawn from the 40th Psalm.
I know, I know...two U2 related posts in a row. Have I learned nothing in the way of obeying the first commandment? Ah, but by God's grace I have. It's been a month since I logged onto U2's website and I'm even contemplating not renewing my fan subscription this year.
This post is not about U2. It's about the 40th Psalm.
I've been reading Wendy Alsup's blog lately - you can check her out at www.theologyforwomen.org. I love her subtitle caption, "This blog is primarily a lecture to myself, but you are welcome to read along and participate." I'm going to steal her line (now that I've given her credit for it) and let you know this post in an exercise in preaching to myself.
"I waited patiently for the Lord"
Sometimes to do something right you have to stop doing everything and wait. The wait can't have too short of a time allotment. To wait patiently you have to be prepared to wait indefinitely. But the important thing to realize is that you're not waiting on something, you're waiting on someone. And not just anyone. You're waiting on the Lord. The Lord of the universe. The Lord over all creation.
Time is in His hands.
That's who you're waiting on. He's never in a rush. He's never late. His timing is always perfect.
"He inclined and heard my cry."
It gets better. This Lord you wait on? He's immediately in tune with you. He hears your cry. He's leaning in so closely to you He can't miss what you're saying. But He knew before you asked anyway. And He knows what you need even if you don't. He's sympathetic to your cry. He's near.
"He lift me up out of the pit...out of the miry clay."
How deep are you stuck? How thick is the muck and mud and mire of your circumstance?
It doesn't matter.
He lifts you up. He plucks you from the dark, dirty, oppressive pit.
"He sets my feet upon a rock and makes my footsteps firm."
He doesn't just pluck you from the pit. You're not left hanging mid-air to wonder what's next. This isn't the kind of rescue that takes you out of the frying pan and places you in the fire. He transports you to solid ground.
A reliable terrain.
He makes your steps so sure you are guaranteed not to slip and fall back into that old pit. He removes the shifting sand from underneath your feet - or perhaps more accurately - He removes you from the shifting sand.
He secures your path.
"Many will see, many will see and fear."
The road is narrow, but many will travel on it. They will behold the unseen Lord in you. As you behold Him, you will reflect Him. You will show something of the invisible God to a tired and weary race. They will fear the One who holds life in His hands.
They will recognize Him for who He is.
They will know what He has done.
Do you know what He has done for you?
"I will sing, sing a new song."
He puts a new song in your heart. He melts the heart of stone and turns it to a heart of flesh. We are jars of clay in the Potter's hands. We will put away childish things. We will be new creations. And we will sing praises to His name. And it won't have seemed so long then that we waited.
A mere breath.
Originally written 7-6-10.