At the encouragement of my friend Hannah W, I’ve been asking the Lord for something to think about every day when I read the Word. It’s not a hyper-spiritual practice, but so often we 'read the Scripture for the day’, close it, and move on. So with the intent of being more intentional and focused on my relationship with the Lord, it’s a habit I want to keep up. Recently I was reading through the Psalms and asking for what He would have me notice.
I didn’t expect this verse to be today’s meditation:
“You made me bold with strength in my soul.” Psalm 138:3
but it actually dovetailed very well with the thoughts in my accompanying devotional Streams in the Desert:
“In waiting, I waited for the Lord.” Psalm 40:1
Waiting is much more difficult than walking. Waiting requires patience, and patience is a rare virtue. It is fine to know that God builds hedges around His people — when the hedge is looked at from the viewpoint of protection. But when the hedge is kept around one until it grows so high that he cannot see over the top, and wonders whether he is ever to get out of the little sphere of influence and service in which he is pent up, it is hard for him sometimes to understand why he may not have a larger environment — hard for him to “brighten the corner” where he is. But God has a purpose in all HIS holdups. “The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord.” reads Psalm 37:23
On the margin of his Bible at this verse, George Mueller had a notation. “and the stops also.” It is a sad mistake for men to break through God’s hedges. It is a vital principle of guidance for a Christian never to move out of the place in which he is sure God has place him, until the Pillar of Cloud moves. — Sunday School Times
When we learn to wait for our Lord’s lead in everything, we shall know the strength that finds its climax in an even, steady walk. Many of us are lacking in the strength we so covet. But God gives full power to every task He appoints. Waiting, holding oneself true to His lead — this is the secret of strength. And anything that falls out of the line of obedience is a waste of time and strength. Watch for His leading. — S. D. Gordon
Must life be a failure for one compelled to stand still in enforced inaction and see the great throbbing tides of life go by? No; victory is then to be gotten by standing still, by quiet waiting. It is a thousand times harder to do this than it was in the active days to rush on in the columns of stirring life. It requires a grander heroism to stand and wait and not lose heart and not lose hope, to submit to the will of God, to give up work and honors to others, to be quiet and confident and rejoicing, while the happy, busy multitude go on and away. It is the grandest life “having done all, to stand.” — J. R. Miller
For me, relying on any strength I could muster doesn’t work. It’s feels fidgety to stand still and wait. It’s exhausting to continually move. While an easy life is not what I look for, seeing my frailty on a regular basis in both arenas makes me lean more on my Savior. Which is the point, isn’t it?
He does make me bold to serve happily where He asks me to go.
He does strengthen my soul to look on Him and wait for direction.