By Tracy Eide
“Listen to my words, Lord, consider my lament. Hear my my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray… You hear my voice… I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly…”
I love the Psalms; I live in the Psalms. There is so much comfort there when you are suffering, grieving, and struggling. These words have often encouraged me. Just knowing that God included this in His Word, it shows us that He wants to hear about it all, including complaints and struggles. I’ve learned that diving into the grieving is one of the only things that brings healing. Stuffing the pain can make you emotionally dysfunctional and it can come out in unexpected and unpleasant ways. Maybe God knew we would need it in this broken world and that’s why the Psalms are one of the biggest books in the Bible. But I will get off my soapbox. I wanted to go another direction.
This time when I read this Psalm something different struck me. The direction the Psalmist’s face is turned. I have lately been convicted that so often in my distress I cry out blindly to the universe as I look at the floor. My focus is on me and my pain and my struggles and I fling out prayers over my down-turned shoulders and think only on myself. The Psalmist is reminding himself and his God that the reason that God should be listening is this: “for TO YOU I pray”. A very simple reason. “God, you should listen to me because You are Yourself!” He is a loving Heavenly Father who, of course, will listen to his children and hear them. I must pause and realize that my great God of abundance and love hears my voice. I must move my eyes from me and see with eyes of faith just, for a minute, that my requests and cries lay on the table before Him, the Almighty Lover and Maker of my soul. And then I must lay down at the safe place of His feet and wait. But I should wait not with fear and despondency but with upturned eyes of trust and expectancy. Perhaps I will be waiting for His grace to endure my suffering, perhaps for a miraculous change, or perhaps for the unexpected. But expectantly keeping my weak and needy eyes fixed on my Father remembering who He is. I so often start trying to figure out how He could answer or fix things or what I should do next. I go into ‘fix-it’ mode and forget to wait expectantly. I forget to Whom I just gave the issue. I take it back out of unbelief, thinking that just because He is silent He will do nothing. I forget to look at God’s Face. It speaks volumes.
Forgive me, Lord. Help me to remember that You do hear and that You will act. Help me to remember to wait expectantly. You say in Your Word that waiting is good, it doesn’t feel good, but I’ll trust You on that. And waiting with hope is better. The only way I can do that is when I focus on who You are. Then somehow, the weightiness of my lament is lightened and my anxious heart is soothed. I’m starting to understand now… giving us Yourself when we look to Your face is part of the answer. Or maybe all of it for now…
Original March 14 post – used by permission of the author