An Encouraging Word from Psalm 118 as You Wait & Wonder What’s Next
Snow falls on this ordinary Tuesday in April, making today maybe not so ordinary after all. The falling snow casts the world in a muted gray, but I don’t mind. I’m curled up in my favorite writing chair, with my favorite blanket wrapped cozily around me as soft light falls from a nearby lamp.
Today, I’m content.
Yesterday was a different story as the boxes piled high in my dining room seemed to grow with my anxiety.
I felt overwhelmed and outnumbered, defeated and drained.
Overwhelmed by the fact that we’ll be leaving behind the life we’ve built in Warsaw, Indiana, to move in with my parents as we continue our weary search for a new home in Indy.
I am outnumbered by the growing number of things on my to-do list that has to be completed by this coming Saturday.
I feel defeated by not one, not two, but twelve denied offers on twelve different homes.
The constant change and transition drain me as I slowly realize I cannot control this situation.
Unsettled is a word you may be tired of hearing me say, but it’s the best word to describe how I feel in this season, even on a good day.
Last night, as my weary heart sat down to unwind from the day, I opened my Bible and landed in Psalm 118:1-6, 16 & 17 (emphasis added).
I love you, Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears…
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
He drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
The Psalmist goes on for another 42 beautiful verses that I would highly encourage you to read when you have the time.
Aside from all of the incredible adjectives used to describe who God is to us and for us, two main things stood out to me about this passage that brought me great comfort.
- God listens
- God doesn’t just listen. He takes action even when we don’t see Him moving.
So that means even when I find myself in a waiting season, weary and weighed down by circumstances I can’t control, He isn’t taking a break from being God and hoping that I have the tools I need to figure it all out on my own.
It means that He’s always waiting, right in the middle of my ‘not yet’ season, for me to run to Him with my overwhelmed and outnumbered heart.
It means that because He is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, He never stops working.
And if I proclaim that God is my refuge, then I am also proclaiming that I have everything I need in Him.
True rest, true contentment, is only possible when I choose to surrender control and trust in the One who knows what comes next.
He unceasingly hears the stirrings of my heart, and the action He takes in response to my crying out may not come in the form of a new house.
It may not look the way I expect it to.
Sometimes, it comes in the form of a random encouraging word from a friend.
Sometimes, it might look like a hug and a hand-squeeze from my husband that says, we’re going to get through this together.
Other times, it’s still moments of silence as I feel the overwhelming love of Jesus’ presence coming close.
No matter what form God’s reaching out may look like, it’s always what I need right when I need it. I just have to keep my eyes attentive to the ways in which He works and moves, and remember that He’s always with me.
I hope this encourages you, my friend, if – like me – you find yourself feeling defeated and drained from life.
The best thing to do when you feel like you’re drowning is to sink into God and allow Him to pull you up from whatever is weighing you down. You begin sinking by pouring your heart out to Him and trusting that even though you might not see Him moving, He constantly is.
He’s listening and working so that you can rest.
So, as the snow continues to spill from a gray sky, I’ll leave you with this simple yet powerful truth about the God who holds every single one of our days in His hands.
He loves like He listens. Relentlessly.