praying the psalms: Psalm 37
Do not fret because of evildoers, be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it.
I grow awfully anxious sometimes, Lord, when it seems like scallywags are getting their way. When it feels like folks doing it just all wrong are surviving, thriving, making their way. I forget that You promise a wither-and-fade end for them. I just grow weary in doing good, when it seems to go unrewarded.
But You exhort me and compel me to do good – to trust You anyway. To be where I am fully, to abide here in the spaces You’ve chosen and to cultivate faithfulness. I’m grateful the directive is to “cultivate”, not to “magically have” faithfulness. Because You know me so well – know my heart and know my tendencies – that if not directed to work and nurture and prune my faithlessness into faithFULness, I myself will wither.
And so I delight in You – because You create good and righteous desires in my heart for Your glory and with intent to fulfill them. I can commit to You and trust You and believe You are coming through for me. Always coming through for me. Thank You.
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
I know You wouldn’t tell me to do something that I cannot accomplish with Your Spirit indwelling me. For every command, there is a corresponding supply of Real Life, sustaining me and making me able. So if you tell me to rest, Jesus, then I know that I can. I can rest. I can rest and wait patiently for You. I can cease being angry and frustrated and trying to get my own way out of things – these ways only lead to sin and destruction.
You establish my steps – you lay the foundation and groundwork and set in place all the steps I will take. Thank you, Lord, for being the builder and establisher of my steps. I cannot falter or fail because I belong to You. It’s so simple and yet so hard. You delight in the ways You’ve established for me and You delight in ME as I walk with you.
This is, of course, factually the safest and most whole place to be. Thank You. Thank You that when I skip ahead or become frantic, fearful, snatching at the wind and clenching my fists – I will not be hurled headlong. That is mercy for me, such great mercy. Sure, I may fall. But it won’t be the end of me. I will not end in disaster, because You hold my hand and we step together. How tender. How intimate! The gesture of holding my hand. I praise You.
The testimony of the Psalmist is true and affirms me, even in my relative youth: "I have been young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken.” What a relief! What a reassurance. You promise me too, Lord, that not only will I never need to beg for what I need, but You will give so generously to supply my needs that there will be an overflow! I will have all I need AND can give out of the excess, because of Your great provision.
It’s an assurance of abundance. Of Your love and care and concern for me, Your daughter.
This promise, from a tender God, a Father God, holding my hand and establishing my steps. This is a God I can wait on, rest in – I can wait on You and keep Your way, because You’ve given me Yourself.
Your life in me makes me strong and You are enough and I am enough in You.
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