I waited patiently for the Lord; 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 and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him.
I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
Sometimes it feels like you’re just going under.
Welcome to the human experience.
Welcome to the believer’s experience.
It would be nice if we could be excused, but we can’t. We aren’t. And never have been.
David (and perhaps Jeremiah in Psalm 69) paints a very relatable word-picture of what it feels like when the hardest of circumstances threaten to take us under emotionally, mentally and/or spiritually. His testimony here is that he waited patiently.
Not always easy.
In fact for most of us it goes against our nature and we want to quickly fix things. It goes against our aversion to pain and discomfort to just wait.
But, sometimes, wait we must.
There are different kinds of waiting.
Waiting for an Iconic order feels very different to waiting in a specialist’s waiting room for a diagnosis.
Waiting on a friend to call by is very different from waiting for relief when you’re weighed down with remorse, regret or self-incrimination.
The Hebrew word for Wait in Psalm 40 means to be stretched, pulled or strained while waiting. It’s uncomfortable. It’s painful. Sometimes it feels like more than we can bear.
The writer of Psalm 69 describes sinking in deep mire; a kind of heavy, slippery mud. The word is “sink” in Hebrew but has an interesting history. The Jewish Aramaic translation means to sink or be covered up or buried.
The mire he describes is deep. It feels like we’re buried.
But two different words are used. The first is about depth. The second is about weight. The deeper you go in the water, the greater the pressure. This is a depth that crushes, a type of pressure that presses against you and contracts around you.
I’ve known that kind of depth and crushing weight. I’m sure at times you have and maybe you are in it even now?
If you’re stuck in literal mud or quicksand, you won’t want to just keep still. It’s human nature to struggle for life. We’re wired for survival.
But that just makes maters worse. Sometimes our instincts work against us.
There are times where we can come to our own aid.
But then there are times when we just need to wait and be delivered.
How does this kind of waiting work?
Isaiah 40:31 puts it like this,
“They who wait on the lord will renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint”
This kind of waiting is active, even though we remain “still”.
It means to:
This is active waiting.
What may help as you actively wait?
However, the stamina needed in these protracted times, the energy expended in these weighty circumstances can cause you to grow weary, and that’s when you need to know a rescuer, a saviour of infinite strength is coming. One who reaches down and lifts you out of the mud.
Please seek hope in the stories you read in His word, in the testimonies of others, in your own experiences where He has proven himself to be your Hope.
And now let me remind you about Him and what He will do. Your Rescuer. Your Saviour.
He hears you. But he doesn’t just hear you.
He will turn to you. But he doesn’t just turn to you.
He will lift you out. But He won’t stop there.
He sets you down on rock; a firm foundation. The mud cleaned away.
He gives you a new song to sing.
This “new song” comes from a greater, deeper understanding of your Saviour, your Healer, your Rescuer. This understanding comes only by having experienced this deep crushing and seeing Him work to bring you out; to bring you out changed.
This newer you now has a greater influence. The thing that you thought might crush you becomes part of your testimony and someone’s hope.
That has been my story over and over. And even right now I find myself in a time of waiting. What I can say though is that those past experiences in the crushing mire, where I’ve known His hand pulling me out and doing something new in me, has strengthened me for this season.
I still sometimes feel like I may go under, but I draw strength and hope from my History with Him and what He has done for me.
And so I pray-
Father, I pray for those who may find themselves in a place of waiting. A deep or crushing place.
I ask Lord that as they wait they will know your peace that surpasses understanding. The kind of peace you can provide even when we can’t see a way out or an end to our circumstances.
I thank you Lord that you will hear their cry, turn to them, lift them up and establish them in a secure place. I thank you for the new thing you will do within them and through this, and the testimony that will be a blessing to others.
I bless you for your goodness to us all, Lord.
In Jesus Name,
With love, Heather