You’re all I want in heaven! You’re all I want on earth! When my skin sags and my bones get brittle, God is rock-firm and faithful. Look! Those who left you are falling apart! Deserters, they’ll never be heard from again. But I’m in the very presence of God— oh, how refreshing it is! I’ve made Lord God my home. God, I’m telling the world what you do! (The Message) Psalm 73:25-28
I talked to dear sisters this week who all face various struggles in the chapters of their stories: parenting a teenager, a husband who needs success in his job, caring for an aging parent, finding relief from depression, hearing about a devastating diagnosis for an extended family member, a single woman trying to discern the best next steps, and the themes of difficult chapters continue.
I personally have been battling a difficult sinus condition for the past three months, causing me to feel bad and necessitate a battery of inconvenient and uncomfortable medical tests. God, why are you letting this linger? I could be serving you at full speed but instead I am feeling run down and spending time going to doctors and pharmacies. Not to mention spending money on all the involved!
I think the psalmist knew what it was like to go through a few difficult chapters. After all much of the psalms were written by David while he was on the run for his life from King Saul who was bent on putting him to death. Not having a place to live or the safety of knowing you are not being hunted – now that’s a whole new take on “uncertainty”!
In Psalm 73 above, the prayer poured out gives us insight and wisdom on how to walk through the chapters of our stories. Here is what I see the psalmist saying to each of us if he could sit down for coffee and talk:
- Ask God to give you an increased desire for His presence and a greater trust in His ways through what you encounter. Ask Him to bring your heart to the place where you can say, “I want more what You want more than I want what I want in this situation because You know best and are able to work this toward my good.”
- Affirm God is working behind the scenes and ask Him to show you His activity in small and big ways. Turn to a promise from His Word, put it in a place where you can see it, and remind God of what He promised to do. For instance, I am reminding God right now about His promise to give wisdom when we ask in faith (James 1:5-6) I am telling Him that I expect His wisdom as I pursue physical healing and other decisions related to the ministry.
- Pray for protection from the enemy and the ability to discern traps and lies which the spiritual forces of darkness place in the believer’s circumstances and minds to wreak havoc. I am battling the lie, “God doesn’t care about your health. He’s going to let you suffer and never find an answer.” I may suffer but it’s not because God doesn’t care. The Scripture tells me He knows the hairs on my head and is an attentive Father. (Luke 12;7) He also uses affliction in my life for His glory. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
- The reason why the enemy wants to keep you from desiring God, affirming His presence, calling out to Him with His promises, and standing against lies, is because he doesn’t want you to tell the world what God does for you. Satan hates when God receives the credit for being all-sufficient and near during difficulty. He will do whatever it takes to keep you from sharing the wonderful ways we come to know our Heavenly Father’s heart in every situation.
I love how The Message version of Psalm 73:28 ends, “But I’m in the very presence of God— oh, how refreshing it is! I’ve made Lord God my home. God, I’m telling the world what you do!” I love Renee’s story My Island Life which she recently submitted to give us a glimpse of our Father as a rescuer. Sister, YOUR STORY MATTERS. Keeping living it in the power of His strength. AND KEEP SHARING what God does through the chapters of your life!