I waited patiently for the LORD; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.
Psalm 40:1-3 (ESV)
I’ve been pondering Psalm 40 lately. Here are a few thoughts from the first three verses gleaned from conversations with several friends:
- The psalmist found himself in a difficult situation and apparently had to stay there longer than he would have liked. It’s interesting that the Lord didn’t keep him out of the pit and miry bog to begin with. I like it better when God keeps me out of trouble. But if my most important purpose is that God be glorified through my life, am I willing to go through trials if God can get more glory from rescuing me than from protecting me from them? The story of Job comes to mind…
- When He sets our “feet upon a rock”, He apparently doesn’t expect us to just stand there. He makes our “steps secure” so that we move on with more confidence in Him. We’ll undoubtedly need that confidence to make us patient when we wander into the next miry bog…
- His rescue gives us something to sing about; we just have to open our mouths and tell about it.
- When we sing our praise to God in the presence of many others, they see what God has done and trust Him.
So here’s a pattern that we often see in life:
We experience difficulties…God rescues us…we glorify God…others hear of it…they glorify God.
Of course, we have to choose to follow that pattern. We have options, like:
We experience difficulties…we grumble and moan about it…God rescues us anyway…we complain about how He did…others hear of it…
The miry bogs we find ourselves in create opportunities. It’s up to us how we use them.