In life is seems there are times that we coast along for a little while with no serious issues or problems that worry us, or worse, wake us in the night.
Then, life changes.
Up crops a small (or large) thing that drives us to the place of prayer. You know the one I mean – on our knees seeking God’s guidance, provision, intervention, or healing.
And next, true to the old proverb that trouble comes in threes, along comes another, and another source of anguish, worry, or distress.
Then there we are, on our face again, before our Heavenly Father, begging for His mercy and grace to be poured out (yet again, if you’re like me) and for Him to “fix” it.
These times always remind me of a line from the movie “Parenthood”: life is like a rollercoaster; it has ups and downs that can make us sick or terrified. (I know this isn’t a direct quote, but I haven’t seen the film in a long time.)
It’s still true. Life has very few straight, boring stretches; it’s mostly long slow up-hills, followed by terrifying rushes down and around.
And in those times, we’re reminded very clearly of why we need a Saviour.
At the present time, I need to see God do some really big things.
There are loved ones who need His provision, guidance, and protection, and their hardship and uncertainty weighs upon my heart just as much, if not more than, my own stuff that needs God’s “fixing”.
It seems like throughout my life there has been a recurring theme of “God, we need Your provision! And we need You to help us to trust You for it.”
This has been a result of life choices, but I often question whether I have a big character flaw that I’m unaware of. That’s often hard to face, although I do have frequent times of asking God to change me by the power of His Spirit and to make me the person He wants me to be.
Sometimes those prayers are followed closely by the realisation that I will never completely be the person He desires me to be, but I do still believe that He loves me in spite of my flaws and issues. And I know that He is always at work, refining, shaping, and moulding.
Thank God, His love is never-ending and His mercy knows no limits!
Psalm 40 is perfect for times like these, of life crises and self-doubt –
1I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and He turned to me and heard my cry.
2He 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.
3He 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.
4Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord,
who have no confidence in the proud
or in those who worship idols.
5O Lord my God, You have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all Your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.
6You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings.
Now that You have made me listen, I finally understand—
You don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.
7Then I said, “Look, I have come.
As is written about me in the Scriptures:
8I take joy in doing Your will, my God,
for Your instructions are written on my heart.”
9I have told all Your people about Your justice.
I have not been afraid to speak out,
as You, O Lord, well know.
10I have not kept the good news of Your justice hidden in my heart;
I have talked about Your faithfulness and saving power.
I have told everyone in the great assembly
of Your unfailing love and faithfulness.
11Lord, don’t hold back Your tender mercies from me.
Let Your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me.
12For troubles surround me—
too many to count!
My sins pile up so high
I can’t see my way out.
They outnumber the hairs on my head.
I have lost all courage.
13Please, Lord, rescue me!
Come quickly, Lord, and help me.
14May those who try to destroy me
be humiliated and put to shame.
May those who take delight in my trouble
be turned back in disgrace.
15Let them be horrified by their shame,
for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!”
16But may all who search for You
be filled with joy and gladness in You.
May those who love Your salvation
repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!”
17As for me, since I am poor and needy,
let the Lord keep me in His thoughts.
You are my Helper and my Savior.
O my God, do not delay.