2 things to do when you don’t know what to do.

I love Psalm 143.

I like most of what David writes because he talks like I feel so much of the time.

I always feel a little silly saying that I relate to David’s writings.  David had people hunting him down and I just have a lot on my to-do list.  (First world problems, eh?)

I’m so thankful that God doesn’t make fun of me, though.  He doesn’t make light of my pain.  And He wrote down psalm 143 to minister to people who are in danger of death but He also wrote it down so that it would help people like me see what’s true in the moments when the temptation to feel overwhelmed is a little stronger than usual.

Here are two things I’m doing today because I see them modeled in this psalm:

1. Appealing to God’s character.  David begs God to answer his cries for help by saying:

“In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!”

David sounds almost demanding which seems, in my opinion, like a dangerous way to talk to God.  But there’s one critical thing to notice: he doesn’t demand because of his own ‘righteousness’, but God’s.

Here’s the difference.

  • God!  You should help me because I’ve followed you so faithfully!
  • God!  You should help me because you’re so faithful to your people.

One of these is unbelievably arrogant and also desperately out of line.  One of them is a testimony of deep faith and belief in the greatness of God.  The second prayer displays that you believe God is both powerful and good.

2. Remember God’s character.  The problem for me is that I appeal to God’s character up until the moment when I start to doubt God’s character.  And then when He doesn’t seem to be acting on my schedule in my timeline in the way that makes sense to me, I begin to think that maybe He’s not all that faithful.

I don’t know if David struggled with that, but I do know that he fortified his plea for help with a little self talk:

I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that you have done;
I ponder the work of your hands.

Last week was my tenth birthday.  In August of 2002 I met my sweet sweet Jesus as I shared in my story last week.

There have been four or five moments since then when God has done ‘part-the-seas’ kind of miracles in my life to make sure that I don’t throw in the towel, to make sure that I stick with Him.

In the moments when I am pleading and God isn’t responding, I use those memories to remind me of what I know isn’t true.

It can’t be true that God isn’t acting the way I hope because He doesn’t care about me

It cant’ be true that God isn’t acting the way I hope because He isn’t strong enough.

It can’t be true that God isnt’ acting the way I hope because He isn’t willing to overcome my own will or the will of everyone around me to use even sin to bring His glory and my good.

I look on the evidence of the past ten years to remind myself that God has always proved faithful in my life. I look on the evidence of the generations recorded in the bible to remind myself that God never will forsake His people.

I look on the evidence of the Cross to remind myself that God doesn’t withhold good from His people.  If He’s given me His very son, will He not also give me everything that is good for me?

4 thoughts on “2 things to do when you don’t know what to do.

  1. I feel the same Fabs! Sometimes I feel like David understands me, there is something liberating about Davids writing. They propel you to be authentic with God and as you read the Psalms its like his words expose your own heart and your thoughts.

  2. Thank you so much for continuing to be a source of encouragement in my life. God is using you to reach out to people across the US and all over the world.

  3. Question…I am feeling this now. Pleading to God. What happens when you don’t have any part-the-sea moments to look back on? Literally nothing? You cannot help but think He doesn’t love you as much as the next girl…

    1. Brittany – my heart is breaking for you, but I need you to know: you DO have parting of the sea moments. Listen to this: By Grace Through Faith

      And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:1-9 ESV)

      Nothing God has ever done for any human is greater than that.

      Consider this: For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:6-11 ESV)

      Don’t just read those verses like they’re ‘verses’. Read them like they are your history. True and real. These are the miracles that cause you to press on.

      All my love.

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