I have a little Bible app on my phone that displays the verse of the day. I have grown so used to it being there, I rarely notice it anymore. I hope I don't go to hell for admitting that haha. This week, I must have accidentally swiped it because it opened big on the display with this verse:
Yet I am confident I will see the LORD's goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13 NLT[insert the sound of screeching tires, sliding to a stop on slick asphalt]
Pardon me, did that say "while I am here in the land of the living"? As in, in this lifetime? As in, before I get to Heaven?
Well now, wait just a minute. There are situations in my life that I have spent years praying over. Situations that I have finally as in just the last 6 months started to give up on, and accept as things that will not be made right this side of Heaven.
Things I decided must not be God's Will.
So what of this? This, "while I am here in the land of the living" business? Do you mean to tell me now that I have thrown in the towel, that the LORD wants to tell me that He may have other plans?
Isn't that just like God?
How often have we given up on situations, faced circumstances where there was no hope, accepted defeat and loss of control, and then all of a sudden He shows up to say something along the lines of, "Now that you have stepped out of the way and released your false sense of control, I can step in and get some work done here."
This often seems like a place I circle back through....hope-faith-prayer-no result-doubt-glimmer of hope-faith- prayer- doubt...and so on. So I couldn't help but wonder, how do I stay confident and faithful, in a seemingly hopeless situation, and remain confident that I will see the goodness of the LORD, here and now?
I decided to take a closer look at Psalm 27. After all, if the LORD was sending me an alert on my phone, it must be important - ha! This Psalm, written by David, has always been one of my favorites, and I have read it before, but never really focused on that "land of the living" part in verse 13. I wondered if there could be more clues, perhaps another directive, something more He wanted me to know.
In reading back through the whole Psalm, I saw how David began by stating His confidence and faith in the LORD to protect him and deliver him. Side note: These verses are some of those I have often returned to in dealing with my old friend, anxiety.
The Lord is my light and my salvation—I continued reading, looking closely, trying to find something to tell me how to have this same confidence and trust, and then I found it. Right there in verse 4 was David's "to-do" list.
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
One thing I ask from the Lord,Seek God. Dwell with Him. Fix my gaze on Him. Find Him in His temple.
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
So, what.... stay in prayer, read and study the Bible, look for signs of His presence, worship with other believers?
Could it be this simple?
It might be if we didn't live in a culture which encourages us to seek superficial riches, self gratification and worldly pleasures, and we'll take all of that immediately, as in we want it now without waiting, thank you very much!
In our limited view, it can be hard to seek Him. Hard to see Him. Hard to wait.
But I am learning.
Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts has done an amazing work in my life in helping me to find Him here, in this world, in the mess of it all. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it!
As I noted on my facebook page today, "What a mystery, the unveiling of His plan, and how often He reminds me that I am truly clueless."
Yep. And so that brings me to now, sitting here clueless. Not really sure what He might do, but with a better sense of what I should do in the mean time.
Seek God. Dwell with Him. Fix my gaze on Him. Find Him in His temple.
i.e. Seek. Him.
But wait, haven't I been doing these things already?
Yes. Actually, I have for the most part.
But I think there is one more message for me, something else to add to my to-do list, which is to cling tight to David's final words in verse 14...
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.At our church, the band often plays Hillsong's The Everlasting God, which is based on Psalm 27. I have always loved it, and now it has an even more special meaning for me, as I wait with anticipation to see what He might do in this lifetime, while I am in the land of the living.
Have you given up on seeing God's goodness in a situation in your life? Maybe he is sending you a message today, reminding you, too, to continue to seek Him, be strong, take heart, and wait.