From EDIFIED, written in 2011 while living in Germany
“Bow down and hear me, O Lord, for I am poor and needy.”
Psalm 86:1 NKJV
Praise you for this word, Lord Jesus, as it clarifies what is happening in my life. There is too much to do and I do not have the strength to work hard at it, being so tired. I praise you for this situation for it reminds me that without you I can do nothing (John 15:5).
Thank you for my weakness, thank you for there being more work than time, thank you that I cannot handle it in my own strength. In my mind there is a jumble of things, giving me an underlying sense of unsettledness; this further saps my strength, confuses my thinking and works against my being disciplined in doing the next thing.
Yes, “I am poor and needy” but you, Lord, are rich and powerful. Being at the end of my fraying rope, I willingly switch to your strong, eternal, graceful rope. I praise you for your love and kindness in prodding me to surrender like this. Praise you for working to “preserve my soul, for I am holy, devoted to you,” knowing that you “save your servant who trusts in you” (Ps. 86:2).
I praise you for all that is happening in my life, both positive and negative. Thank you that I seem to be catching up on my sleep. Thank you that I am making progress on the big writing project, endless as it appears to be. Thank you that my restless legs have returned, again a sign of unsettledness, a need to return to rest in you.
Thank you, too, for the seeming failure of my mother-in-law’s eye operation; you are doing something with that, something we can’t see yet, but which you will use for good. Praise you now for how you will work this out. Thank you for my wife’s illness. Thank you for the uncertainty about our going to the US, about what to do in the next two months, about the uncertainty in the church. Also for the three, possibly four tax problems before us.
I look away to you, for you are “good and ready to forgive and plenteous in mercy to all those who call upon you. … In the day of my trouble I will call upon you for you will answer me” (Ps. 86:5,7). You are the trustable One, the wise One, the powerful One. In the seeming unsolvable turmoil, looming failure and insurmountable tasks, you are at work, guiding, directing, helping, overcoming.
You are my Rock, worthy of praise and worship, and I give those to you now before any solutions come to pass. You are “full of compassion, gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy and truth” (Ps. 86:15). Glory is due you; praise is our privilege; worship is our response–because your character is holy.
Thank you that you “grant your strength to your servant and save the son of your handmaid” (Ps. 86:16). Praise you that daily you give “a token of your love so that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed, for you, Lord, have helped and comforted me” (Ps. 86:17).
Prayer: “Give me your wisdom, Lord, that I may do what is on your agenda today. I lay down my will and take yours instead. Thank you for the guidance you will give, the ways you will open and shut, the protection you will provide, shielding my head in the day of battle. Amen.”
[Epilogue: in the end my mother-n-law’s eye operation was successful; all our tax problems (with the German government) were solved with minimal cost, my writing project was finished, Barbara got well and He carried us through, guiding us in when to leave Germany. In the midst of our weakness He is faithful!]