Trust in the Lord and do good…Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires..
Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him and he will help you….be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.
(Psalm 37. 3,4,5,7, 23&24)
Have you ever found yourself in the privileged position of holding the hand of a small child while out on a walk, or trip to the park? Without thinking, in pure trust, the hand is given and you as the adult are able to guide, steady, reassure and if necessary rescue the little one from the hazards which may be encountered.
Look again at that line of the psalm – “they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.” And say it to yourself over and over… yes, I will stumble or trip; yes, I may be faced by some apalling obstacle or fearsome foe.. BUT my Lord holds my hand, he is beside me, and he is supremely capable of dealing with everything which I may encounter! And everytime I do stumble, I prove once again his readiness to assist and strengthen me, pulling me out from the hazard and reassuring me so that I can go on. What a tender picture of our Father’s love and of the wonderful grounds we have for trusting him in all circumstances.
But perhaps you sometimes suffer from the same problem as I do – you forget that you are held….
I am ashamed to think how often I allow myself to get into a dreadful state of dread, panic or even despair, surrendering hope of deliverance, and wallowing in a morbid self-pity for my sad condition. I fix my eyes on whatever the problem may be – and therein lies the problem, where my eyes are!!
Recently I found myself wide awake in the middle of the night, heart-pounding, sweating, and generally not good… I tried to pray for others who I knew might be in need – sick friends, missionaries who would already be up and doing – anyone, as a distraction from the dreadful roller-coaster of thoughts which were rushing through my head. I didn’t exactly win the battle, but in his mercy, God gave me sleep again, so that my body had a chance to rest and gather strength. And as the following day proceeded, my feelings relaxed, a small hope began to gather – like the cloud the size of a man’s hand which preceeded the coming rains in the day of Elijah. I was given the gift of being still and trusting that God would act; of waiting to see what he would do. I was able to set my feelings to one side, and live the day on the basis of truth about my God, taking it moment by moment and not anticipating the unknown and so easily fearful future.
I am held, constantly, by one who loves me and knows me better than anyone else. I need not be ashamed of telling him all my fears, confessing the doubts that assail me, the terror of facing what feels like too much responsibility. It is his hand, his strength which should be my confidence, not my own. And – which is the most comforting thing – even when I am in a mess entirely of my own making, he is still holding me, and still able to keep me from going down under it!
So this is my prayer for myself this week, perhaps it may help you too:-
Dearest Father, behold your daughter, in her need, her foolishness, the muddle of her own making.
Have mercy upon her, even as you promise faithfully to do.
Grant her that childlike confidence which faces every hurdle so long as her hand is in yours – for your grip on her is unshakeable.
She is trusting you for the little details of her little life, because to her they are not small, and in the night they become overwhelming, terrifying foes, devouring sleep and peace.
Let her be still, let her breathe deeply of the wholesome airs of your truth, so that her soul might be restored, her trust renewed, and she might wait patiently to see your hand at work in her life.
Let her be again as a little child, in your mercy Lord, grant her peace.