Stuck by the Psalms

bible

It’s humbling when I realize I cannot move past a Psalm I have read countless times before, a Psalm that I had even memorized in elementary school and quoted from time to time. How do I brush over the very words I know I must confess but lack the initial desire to do so? I sat with my bible in my lap, staring at the page. Finally, frustrated by my stubborn mindset, I forced my lips open with a desperate whisper: “Spirit, please, soften my heart.”

Then, I read it yet again.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit

Although I read it without emotion, this time it punctured my heart with a conviction I could not ignore and knew had to be addressed. It was time to admit my childish attitude and surrender the selfish discontentment I had been focusing on for far too long. A poisonous perspective that had pulled me further into a world of impatience and waste. Did I really want to stay here any longer? No. I want to want to get out. But how?

As soon as I had a slight change of heart, the Lord mercifully brought my wandering mind into His truth, hinting that this is the prayer I need to be praying and the prayer I need an army to be praying over me.

How did I stray in the first place? I didn’t wait.

So many times in scripture it says to wait for the Lord.

And I do. Except for the times when I’m unsatisfied with the current scenerio and begin wishing for a better plan, grumbling and complaining about how where I’m at is not where I want to be. Then, without knowing it, my distaste for God’s will quickly turns into ungrateful distrust which only leads into a downhill depression.

People tell me to be thankful for hardships, that they are a test of faith. But by that time the negativity takes control and I’m tempted to respond back to their unwanted advice with “Well, I’ve already learned a lot in this season and I’m ready for what’s next. I’m so over this.”

Wait for the Lord. Be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord.

If God didn’t want me where he has me, I wouldn’t be here. But I’m still here. He has the key to the master plan, not me.

Even though I think I’m done, apparently I’m not. When my current situation appears inconvenient and complicated, that’s merely a signal for me to go deeper into seeking God’s transforming grace and to walk by the faith He has gifted me with.

So that’s what I was trying to do when Psalm 51 broke down my wall of rebellion, reminding me of my ugly sin, my dire need to be in communion with God, that I am nothing without Jesus, and that the joy I possess is not on accord of me or my surroundings, but abounds from the life eternal I have with the One who loved me first: the One who I will live my whole life loving.

In this world it’s definitely a fight to the finish, and I know there will be many occasions where my flesh will fail again… but HE GIVES MORE GRACE. He who makes new. He who sustains. He, my Joy.

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