“Prayer is the soul’s breathing itself into the bosom of its heavenly Father.”

               –Thomas Watson

David had been thrown into a pit, a slimy pit. He was covered with the mud of misfortune and the mire of misery. He found himself with in a place with no available footholds and no apparent handholds. He had no light except for the thin yellow ribbon that streamed in from above him, and that was enough. He lifted his eyes up and “waited patiently for the Lord.” (Psalm 40:1) And after all the patient praying and all the wearisome waiting, David described God’s response: 

He [God] inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
    out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
    making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a song of praise to our God. (Psalm 40:1b-3a)

What was David’s troubles? He seemed beset by troubles from without and transgressions from within. David prayed, “For evils have encompassed me beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me.” (40:12) David triumphed over both problems by waiting on and trusting in God. What is your difficulty today? Has illness thrown you into a pit? If so, then think of King Hezekiah (2 Kings 20). Hezekiah had become ill and was even at the point of death. What was his response to being stricken with such a trial and thrown into such a pit? He prayed. He turned his face to the wall and wept. He humbled himself before the Lord and petitioned him. He felt not only the weight of his sickness but also the wickedness of his sins. It was this burden that drove him to the Lord where he found both health and holiness. Concerning that experience, Hezekiah wrote, “You restored me to health and let me live. Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” (Isaiah 38:16b-17, NIV)

Our church family and everyone we seem to know is experiencing a variety of illnesses right now. It’s not just covid, it is the usual suspects making the rounds (flu, sore throats, etc.) as well. How are we to respond? Let’s trust the Lord and wait on him, knowing that He hears our prayers and will put a song of praise in our mouths. A man that I admire and love recently preached a sermon on praise being a personal choice. Let me challenge you, will you praise the Lord through this season of illness? Will you wait patiently on the Lord? Have a blessed week and we will see you on Sunday.

Love in Christ,

Pastor Dale