I have never considered this one of my favorite Psalms. It’s not that the message is not clear. There is hope and praise for God. The Psalm is well written without any veiled messages. There is even a witnessing message. But there are a couple of pictures I see that make me wish that God would have inspired David to write this Psalm differently.
The first reason I pass quickly over this Psalm is the reference to the mud. I avoid that slimy substance whenever I can. I do not remember ever being thrown into the mud by some bully or any other emotionally damaging experience with any particularly soaked pile of dirt. But the avoidance factor is alive and well within me. I would claim that I would never ever play in the stuff.
If that is indeed true, then how is it that I often find myself looking much like the person pictured above–slogging my way through my life covered with mud? Bottom line is despite the number of years with which I am blessed, I cannot give up need to control–so I pay in the mud.
The past three weeks my 93-year-old father has been fighting physical issues. It all started with a fall and a broken hip that has progressed through other issues as his body tries to heal. Do I confidently let him in God’s hands to heal as He sees is best? No. I worry and question the prescription that our Heavenly Father is writing. And I play in the mud.
In the other parts of my life over which I have no control, do I trust God? No. Sure, there are moments when I keep my hands folded and ask for patience and guidance. But moments are short in duration and I tire of waiting for God to put things in order so I jump in with my own resolutions. Many times, these push me further into the mud and muck and deadly quicksand David mentions in Psalm 40. If I stop mincing terms here, I am stuck in my sin. And that is the second reason I am uncomfortable with this Psalm. It reminds me of my sin.
David described the way out of the mud in his life as: I waited and waited for the Lord. Then he turned to me and heard my cry. Then he pulled me up from the deadly quicksand, from the mud and muck. He made my feet stand on a rock to keep my steps from slipping. Then he put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear. They will trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:1-3 (EHV)
We are not sure of what was happening in David’s life when he wrote this Psalm. Some think it was during the time he was being pursued by King Saul in an effort to kill David. As he was being pursued virtually throughout the entire country, David could have easily struck back at Saul in an attempt to fix things himself.
What I read is that he waited for God to rescue him. David did not wait because he felt hopeless or because he had run out of solutions to try. He did not even wait because God’s deliverance was his last resort. Rather, it was a direct result of his faith. David knew God loved him and preserved him through many dangerous times in his life to this point. He trusted–the type of trust that had no doubt–that God would rescue him no matter what. So he waited.
I know that God loves me. He sent his son Jesus to pay for all of my sins, even the ones I commit now. And he did this not only for me, but for the whole world. (John 3:16) I also know that waiting for him to rescue me is my only hope. Whether it is for healing of my father or for everything else that is going on in my life. I need to better trust.
So, I will wait. Maybe not patiently–but I need to wait for him to rescue me. Over the years I ‘ve learned my way has never worked. God continues to give me chances to turn to him. Sometimes it is through the mud in which I find myself, or the huge mountains he places in my way; or through the dry, hot deserts he may allow to come into my life. I know he is just waiting for me to turn to him through faith. I know with God, all things are possible.
Thanks for reading this. I hope you come back sometime. I will wait you even if I am in the mud.
Good message for me to remember wherever I find myself.