Have you ever had to will yourself to do something? I have.
- A month ago, I sunburned my knees badly. When I applied aloe vera gel, I suffered an allergic reaction (the label said it was pure and alcohol-free, but the label lied). The pain was so intense that I had to will myself to stand up when necessary.
- I have several prickly people in my life. I have to will myself to love them and overlook their hurtful behaviors.
- Sometimes I wonder if I’m ADD. Seriously. My mind races with creative ideas but there’s no way I can pursue them all. Still, I yearn to try. I have to will myself to stop and listen for God’s voice and direction.
This morning, while reading the Psalms, I discovered that David willed himself to do something, too. Psalm 57 regards the time when he fled Saul and hid in a cave. Imagine him huddled in that dark, damp setting…fearing for his life yet knowing that God had anointed him as the future king. How might he have felt at that moment? What’s with this, God? Where are You when it really matters? Have you abandoned me?
No one would have blamed David if he’d entertained questions and negative thoughts. But that’s not how he chose to respond. Instead, he said things like…
- “I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by” (v. 1).
- “I will wake the dawn with my song” (v. 8).
- “I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations” (v. 9).
Even though he might have felt extremely discouraged at that time, David willed himself to respond in a God-honoring way. What enabled him to do so? His confidence in God (v. 7). He chose to believe that God would fulfill His purpose for his life no matter what (v. 2). He believed that God would send help from heaven to rescue him. And he believed that God would send His unfailing love and faithfulness (v. 3).
I’m going to follow David’s example when I feel discouraged, or when I grow tired of waiting on God, or when I wonder if even He knows what He’s up to. Rather than allow my emotions to dictate my response, I’ll say, “I will hide beneath the shadow of Your wings, God. I will wake the dawn with a song of joy because You love me unconditionally. I will thank You and sing Your praises because Your faithfulness knows no end.”
Now it’s your turn. What difference will this insight make in your life?
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