Today my mind is swirling – spinning around and around. There is so much to do, so much going on, so many exciting things and so many things causing me concern. You know the pattern. Our minds are overwhelmed with all that is happening and not happening in our life and we enter the spin cycle – tossing our thoughts ‘round and ‘round and ‘round. Before we know it – these thoughts can spin out of control. We lose sight of all that is good and begin to worry, to fear or as Psalm 37 describes it – to fret. If we could just have the answers, get a sneak-peak into the outcome or know what is next, we would feel better. But then – that would not require any faith, would it? Faith requires us to trust and trust requires us…well you know…the “P” word…to be patient.
Earlier this year, my 2 year old granddaughter was at my house and anxious to go swimming. As she began to fret and worry about when she was going to be able to swim, my daughter, Jessica – her mom – told her to be patient. She pouted. Then Jessica asked, “Abigail, what does ‘be patient’ mean? With her bottom lip stuck out - she answered, “Wait without complaining.” WOW! If a two year old can understand that concept, surely we children of the King, heirs to the throne, and Jesus lovers can grasp that! Yet – we fret. When you stop and think about it – it seems crazy. What are we thinking? If we were talking with someone else – we would tell them to walk in faith, to trust God and be patient. But, when it comes to us and our personal woes – it is easier said than done! So, this post is for us! This is to remind us that we can trust God and when we do He will restore us to a place of rest – instead of fret.
Psalm 37 is the “Do not fret” chapter of the Bible. David repeats this phrase as he reminds us to trust God. We need that today, so let’s look at a few familiar verses…
Psalm 37:7a says,
“Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”
Rest in the Lord? If we are fretting – we certainly are not resting in the Lord. Why would David use the word rest? Well, if we are resting – we are not fretting. Resting in the Lord – does not mean to be inactive, but to depend on God, to trust Him – instead of depending on us. In Hebrews 3-4, we learn about this “rest”. We read the reference of the Israelites who wandered around in the desert. All they had to do was to truly trust God and believe His promises and they would inherit the land God had promised them. In this land, they were promised rest. But, what did they do? They disobeyed God. They fretted and fretted big time! It took a long time for them to figure out this connection. Finally, the second generation placed their faith in God and entered into God’s rest in the land of Canaan. (Joshua 3:14-17) We are wanderers, too. We are wandering around disobeying God and missing out on the opportunity to experience rest.
The second part of the verse above says, ‘wait patiently for Him’. When we believe God’s word and accept the fact that He has us – no matter what – no matter what – no matter what – then we can rest and we can be patient. All of God’s promises are ours. Each one is personal to each of us. He has promised us salvation (Romans 1:16-17). He promised to work all things for good in our lives (Romans 8:28). We have the promise of rest (Matthew 28); abundant life (John 10:10); peace (Philippians 4:6-7); completion (Philippians 1:6); blessings (Ephesians 1:3); comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) and so many more. When we embrace these promises – when we choose to believe these promises – then we will find rest. Check out Isaiah 40:31…
“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
Oh, I am feeling better. This reminder of how good God is – is doing my heart good. My thoughts are quietened. My focus is on the One who matters most – the One who is in control – the One who knows best for me. Let’s keep going. What else does Psalm 37 say? Let’s back up a bit and start with verse 3...
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;”
Now that is good stuff. But do you notice it requires action on our part? We are to trust, dwell and feed on all that God has for us. We are to delight in Him. We are to commit our way to Him until our way and His way line up. When we do – we can find rest, true rest in Him. We can be patient and do as my sweet Abigail says – “wait without complaining”.
Let’s pray together…
God, we humbly come before you in prayer. We are in awe of who You are and how great your love for us truly is. Thank you for patiently waiting on us to learn to trust You. We want to rest in You. God, please help us to keep our eyes on You and trust You in every situation. We delight ourselves in You. You are good! You are faithful! You are merciful! Lord, we commit our way to You! Lord, help us to be patient, so we can find rest – true rest in You. We love You and we praise You! Amen!