March 22, 2019
"But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise." Psalm 79:13 (ESV)
I wake, my first thoughts shouting the same worry I slumbered with. The concern so deep, it fights to swallow my peace.
The gloomy, rainy weather reflects my heart as I struggle to get up and start the day. I lay in bed and begin to push my thoughts toward hope. Toward my Father.
Our Father in heaven ...
Even though I know my prayers reach His ears, I feel the same. Yet, I won’t give up. I am desperate to find a first step forward.
Though my feet haven't moved, my mind has begun the process. Rehearsing the faithfulness God showed to followers in His Word, I remember the steps they took. They continued to believe, though they hadn’t yet seen their answers. I reach to grab hold of their faith to strengthen my own.
Abraham ... waiting for a promised son. Never giving up hope, his faith fueled him to keep believing in the promise of God year after year after year. He kept believing despite impossible circumstances.
Rahab ... day after day, keeping that red cord hanging in the window. Though she had yet to see any sign of the spies bringing the promised rescue, she believed their God would come through.
David ... running, running, running. So much of his life spent crying out to God to set him free from his enemies. Though the struggle tarried through many winters, springs, summers and autumns, so did David’s faith in his loving God.
After contemplating the faith of those who have come before me, I find the strength to put both feet on the floor, shuffling to find my robe. I know to make it through this day I need to read some of these stories for myself, supplying my soul for all that will come - whatever it may be.
Settling in my chair, the one where I meet Jesus on most days, I look up. There hangs the print a friend gave me, many years ago. I hung it then because it looked pretty in that spot. It remains today because it strengthens my soul.
Even if … I still will, Habakkuk 3:17-18 declares.
Some days, I feel that.
That inner strength that says, “No matter what, God, I will follow You.” And on the days I do not, when my heart only feels pain, I still cling to this … this what? I guess it is a resolve of sorts. Yes, I’ve come to a definite and earnest decision. No matter what, I will follow You, Jesus. I will choose You. I will praise You.
Many days, the words that reinforce my decision come from Psalms, for so often I find the writer in a place similar to my own. Desperate for help, the words are cries to God to bring relief: “Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name's sake” (Psalm 79:9, NIV).
Although I hear the wrestling, mirroring the struggling in my own soul, I read the resolution as well, found in today’s key verse: "But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise” (Psalm 79:13).
Yes, no matter what this day or the next brings, or the next week, month or year, we, Your people, will give thanks to You forever. We will tell of all there is to praise You for.
No. Matter. What.
Desperate for help, I have found my first step forward.
Father, many days I seem stuck because I don't feel my faith. With Your power living in me, today I say, even if ... I still will. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Habakkuk 3:17-18, "Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation." (ESV)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Pray this prayer, filling in the blank with your own struggle:
Jesus, even if __________________, I will still choose You, follow You and I will praise You.
Join the conversation! Let us know your thoughts from today's devotion on feeling desperate for help.
© 2019 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.