This morning at Alive at Five, I began our study in Psalm 40 like this, “Our most devastating struggles in life are our most valuable friends in teaching us to wait on the Lord.” We all know what it is to experience the misery of “pits” and “bogs.” These are the analogies David uses for circumstances or relationships where we feel stuck in anxiety, fear, pain and confusion. The challenge from God’s Word today was: Will we embrace these hardships as sacred invitations to freedom from the bondage of self and into intimacy with Jesus? Struggles are designed to be opportunities for sacred encounters. Will we learn, by His grace, to wait on the Lord in the place of prayer?!
Ashley Butler sent this testimony of her response to the Spirit’s move this morning:
All of us face places of struggle and suffering and I am not different. Whether it be relationships, ﬁnances or physical issues, I am often discouraged. At times these struggles threaten to take me out. This morning at Alive at Five the Lord arrested my heart! The truth that my struggles are not to be avoided or feared but embraced as friends because they can lead me into deeper fellowship with Jesus was so encouraging! On my drive home, I got real and honest with God about these issues! I told Him how very much I need Him to come. I need His help and deliverance! I desperately long to be a woman of faith who trusts Him in using my circumstances as pathways to knowing Jesus deeply.
Ashley’s testimony echoes verse 7, “I delight to do your will, O, my God,” and is an encouragement for all of us to apply the rich lessons we learned today from Psalm 40:
• The reality of waiting on the Lord is not a passive, but an intense activity of the soul.
• The essence of waiting on the Lord is heart-felt, honest prayer.
• The problem with waiting on the Lord is our self-focus.
• The reward of waiting is experiencing God’s transforming power, causing me to hear and delight in His will.
Friends, our times together in the presence of Jesus in these early mornings is incredibly unique and special in my Christian experience! I cherish these times with increasing joy and thanksgiving!!