Wait…hope…rest…trust…pour out your heart. Now this is great advice for every Monday. Hear it: Wait… hope… rest… trust… pour out your heart. One of the beautiful things about the bible is that it fully discloses the frailties that define the human experience. Not one of us has felt strong and capable for all of his or her days. At best, we are seasonal creatures who go from weakness to strength, back to a different weakness unto a newly defined strength and then forward on to another slightly varied repetition of the same experience. We are a race of ebbers & flowers. As those of you who regularly drop by this blog know, I’m usually at 100% ebb on Monday mornings. So today I preach to myself and hope that my words will resonate with you: Wait… hope… rest… trust… pour out your heart.
“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” – Psalm 62:5-8
I love it that the Psalmist opens up above by declaring that His soul-need can only be met by God. He was so convinced of this that he would not be found scurrying around frantically searching for some improvised solution to whatever was defining his present dilemma. He says that we will find him waiting in silence for God alone because He was certain that only in Him would hope be found. Remaining true to divulging his human experience, he pulls back the curtain a little and allows us to see that some storms were brewing around him and that he needed to be lifted up and placed safely on a high rock where his security would be obtained. He uses the language of a hunted man fleeing to a fortress for safety. Because his need was so great the Psalmist could not trifle with any lesser potentials for relief; he would run to God alone and in His sovereign protection he had learned to declare, “I shall not be shaken!”
He then turns his attention to you. He finds himself eager to instruct you for the very first time, or perhaps to remind you of what you may have previously known. I can see the Psalmist, right in the middle of the castle protecting him during his tempest, saying with steel in his voice but warmth in his eyes, “Trust in Him. At all times. You, yes you, trust your God.” How easy it is for us to sing and preach words like these. We write anthems and epics about the reliability of our great God but let the appropriate enemy find us at the moment of our weakness and dread then our sense of well-being morphs from an iron anvil to a stick of butter on a hot stove. Friends, we need regular reminders from one another that God is always strong, reliable, sturdy, available and willing to rescue. The whole point of fleeing to a fortress for safety is that only our weakness makes us aware of our need. Nobody needs a rescue except those who are overwhelmed and at a loss of resources. Yet we feel that we should be strong enough on our own. There shouldn’t be any fear, any anxiety, any dread of the stormy sky. After all, we are Christians with a plethora of promises at our disposal. So we pretend we are not afraid and we put on our cosmetic Christianity as we become masters of churchified cliches, pretending that the tremble on the inside is not real because we’ve suppressed it on the outside. You can go ahead and do that if you want to but I’m going to take the inspired advice of the Psalmist when he says,
The fortress is large and you may pour out the entirety of your heart without fearing that there will be insufficient space for it all. Unload the moans and groans, the tears and fears, the pouts and shouts – let it fly! Young men and women will read these words with distaste because they have not ever been outmatched with surging cares, physical limitations, material need or spiritual uncertainty. Proud people will respond with the same suspicion that it cannot be approvable to acknowledge before God that we are strugglers, riddled through and through with legitimate weakness and limitations. Religious people will find the whole scene altogether untidy and will endeavor to pretend that following Jesus is not as messy as Jeff makes it out to be.
But not you. You know the Psalmist is right. You know what I’m giving you here connects. Your heart senses relief as you cast off the heavy burden of having to have it all together today. To know that your Lord delights in you casting your cares all upon Him is liberating to your soul. To believe with all the heart that you’re not imagining things and that what you face today is bigger than you – that is not faithless at all. In fact, it is pride-destroying faith that recognizes that you are the hunted, the fugitive, the prey and that there is only one place of complete safety. Your needing relief is kissing His extending of grace and there is no question that your voice has been joined with the Psalmist above. The castle door is open, the King is at home and look where you are…
You’re there. In the castle that is Christ the King. Solid footing beneath your feet, protective walls surrounding you and a high canopy above you. You can still hear the storm’s roar but it pelts against the walls and roof. It beats against your fortress. And the fortress will not give way.
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