Saturday, January 22, 2011

be strong, take heart, and wait for the Lord.

Well folks, I'm back in the good 'ol US of A. It's taken me a bit to get back into the swing of life here. This process has not been helped by the fact that I came back with a pretty good cold and sore throat and my system is taking its dear, sweet time readjusting to being back state side. Part of my "catch up" process the last couple of days has been working through a text for a chapel message next week. Psalm 27. It's a doozey.

The first 6 verses are David proclaiming the strength and goodness of God. He is our light, our salvation, our fortress. We don't have to fear even when we are surrounded. He will keep us safe, hide us in His shelter, and set us high upon a rock. David is spitting truth about the promises of God. It makes you wonder about the next 6 or 7 verses.

After David has made such a strong and confident confession about the goodness of God for us, he lets us in on the struggle. He asks God to hear him. He takes up seeking God in prayer about what troubles him. He pleads for God to not leave him or hand him over to his enemies.

In the last two verses, David wraps up with this:
"I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD. "

In his seeking and pleading with God, he still clings to the promises he professed in the first 6 verses. He trusts that the promises will come to pass for him and so he continues to seek and wait. Wow.


A pastor from the states was down in Nicaragua with a team while we were there. He led a devotion one day about several things, but two of the key concepts was abiding and abounding. Abiding in God's Word and in prayer, so that we can abound in service and ministry for Him. Another woman challenged us with unplugging and taking time to listen to God's leading.

I was thinking on this for the rest of the trip. It seems like so much of my life at the moment is open-ended. I'm wondering what do to about this or that, wondering where God is leading me next, needing peace over any number of issues. Even still, I do not seek His Word or make time to wait on Him in prayer.

Honestly, coming home from Nicaragua sent me into a mental tailspin. I was completely bombarded with thoughts of serving in overseas ministry, being torn between supporting ministry in Latin America or Western Africa, my heart for orphans, my heart for leading worship, my fear of being sent out alone. Such turmoil! Even after hearing such a great message from the pastor while in Nica, I was still stirring so greatly.

Spending time in Psalm 27 brought me back to ground level. Verse 8 in the NLT puts it like this:
"My heart has heard you say, 'Come and talk with me.'
And my heart responds, 'Lord, I am coming.'"

Once again, I hear God saying, "Shelly, calm down. If you're worried about this, come talk to me about it. Seek me. Be confident in my goodness. Wait patiently for me."

So I'm taking time to wait on the Lord. But to be perfectly honest, I don't know how long this will last. I tend to fall to the same things over and over, especially when it comes to thinking I can do things on my own. But Psalm 27 says our call is to seek Him, trust in His goodness, and wait for it patiently.

I don't know what God has in store for me, but I'm committing to seeking Him in it and waiting for Him to reveal what He has in store. I know it will be great.

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