Is God near you, here, now? Do you yearn for a closer connection? Are you desperate to hear something, anything, from Him, asked Charles last Sunday.
Absent communication can fill us with uncertainty, pain, anguish, as David grapples with in Psalms 39 + 40. He is desperate. Like Job, he asks, why does God so brutally discipline a creature so frail and fleeting as man? We can feel this too, acknowledging our sins, but also wondering why life is so tough. Is God even there?
Like us, David, wracked with anguish, tries to sort it out in his own strength. But internalizing his problems is doomed to failure. The outcome? At the end of Verse 2: “My anguish increased.”
In verse 3 he reflects: “As I meditated, the fire burned.” What fire? Is it the fire of anguish, that God was not delivering his life as he expected. Or is it the fire of faith, and the realization that it was not down to him to resolve these issues. David seems to feel both, warring within him.
He goes on to realize the true context of his fleeting life. Ironic, isn’t it, that so many people spend so much time organizing their life on earth, fleeting as it is, but spend so little time on their role in eternity!
David sees his error. He has to open up, and talk to God. He has to communicate, explain the problem, and listen for an answer. He has to patiently pray, and hear things from God’s perspective. We need to do the same, trusting in God, and waiting patiently, confidently.
And God responds. Ps 40, Verse 1&2: “He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire, he set my feet on a rock.” What rock? Jesus. Our saviour, the only one who can hold us up.
It is a Christian paradox. Sometimes we must go to the bottom of the pit, before we stop, let go of ourselves, and listen to God. When there is nowhere else to turn, there is God! Amazing! And we’re supposed to be intelligent beings! God is not averse to wielding humiliation, pain, suffering and defeat to help us change our areas of hardness that are so displeasing to Him.
Then we see afresh the loving hand of Jesus, held out to help us up: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Christ is the Rock on which we stand – the only rock on which we can stand fast.