I’ve noticed recently on social media, and in conversation, that ‘stay safe’ seems to have become a new catchphrase – as if it is in our power to keep ourselves safe from any harm. I know we all have a responsibility to take care of ourselves – to look after our bodies, to eat healthily, to exercise regularly, to sleep sufficiently – these are all good recommendations, that in the main, we try to apply to our lives. But can I really, by some act of will, choose to ‘stay safe’ – has this phrase become popular as some sort of reassurance that we are in control of what is happening?
Where I live, we were beginning to feel after nearly four months, that we were finally approaching the lifting of lockdown restrictions, we were beginning to feel safe and to want to venture out and socialise again, but there has been a peak of new cases of the coronavirus that threatens to change all that. This has created a sense of real sadness, particularly for those who are affected, but at the same time uncertainty, frustration and even anxiety for everyone – is there going to be a delay now in the lifting of the restrictions?
There is a feeling of lament, of loss, for time spent with extended family, for fellowship with the Church family, for employment, for business – how much longer do we have to wait? So many unanswerable questions!
But whether we wait patiently or impatiently will not change the waiting time – it just impacts and affects our relationships! First our relationship with God and then our relationships with each other.
How we wait, does not change the waiting time – it changes us, either for worse or for the better!Tweet
The psalms are full of honest conversation, where the psalmist in a moment of need pours out his thoughts and feelings before God and then, slowly the answer comes, a glimmer of hope for the future. Psalm 13 is an example of this where the psalmist starts with a whole host of questions and ends with a declaration of faith:
“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me.” Psalm 13:5-6
There are four points that we can reflect on from this, four ways to help us to wait well. To bring us from impatience to patience, from doubt to trust, from questioning to accepting and from apprehension or fear to faith!
TRUST – a firm belief in the reliability, truth and ability of someone.
As we place our trust in God’s unfailing love our perspective starts to change. His love which is available and accessible to all, so vast that it is beyond all measure, everlasting, true, unchanging and demonstrated for us by Jesus. We begin to glimpse the bigger picture, that our Heavenly Father is God of the Universe and that He is in control of all!
REJOICE – is to feel or show great joy or delight.
As we reflect on God’s love towards us, His gift, that while we were still sinners He gave His only Son, to set us free from sin. Jesus by his death and sacrifice, reconciled us to God and has given to all who believe in Him, the promise of eternal life! The joy of our salvation and the realisation that it is the joy of the Lord which is our strength¹
PRAISE – expression of approval or admiration.
As our feelings start to change and we feel the joy of our salvation, we start to express our praise to God – as the overflow of a thankful and grateful heart. When we take our eyes off our own situation and start to focus on God’s love, and all that He has done for us, how can we stay silent! As we praise Him, from our hearts, there is a divine exchange, as we bless God, He lifts up our heads and bestows a blessing in return.
REMEMBER – bring to mind an awareness of someone or something from the past.
It is good to remember, to reflect on what God has done for us personally. Our gratitude comes as we look back and we see God’s hand at work in our lives, our testimony, our story of God’s faithfulness, of answered prayers, of unexpected and often, undeserved blessings. Testimony is powerful to silence the doubts and fears – God does not change, what He has done before, He can do again! As we remember, our hope is stirred, and our faith is strengthened.
The safe place is always walking with the Lord, trusting in His love, rejoicing in our salvation, and praising His Name as we remember His goodness. Our future, whatever that may hold, is secure in the Lord. How do we wait well? We wait well by activating our faith!
God is too good to be unkind and He is too wise to be mistaken. And when we cannot see His hand, we must trust His heart. C.H. Spurgeon.Tweet
Shane & Shane – “I will wait for You” – based on Psalm 130
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