Saturday, October 27, 2012


Reading in the Psalms one day, I came across a verse that usually wouldn’t get much of a notice. Psalm 40:13:

Be pleased, O Lord, to save me;
     O Lord, come quickly to help me.

I wondered how God would exhibit being “pleased.” Would He laugh or chuckle to Himself like an earthly father planning a special treat for his son or daughter? Would He smile and just enjoy thinking about how wonderful His servant would feel when delivered from the trouble he or she carries?

This thought encouraged me to look up other scriptures about the pleasure God feels with us. Jesus said to His disciples in Luke 12:32:

Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

And in 1 Corinthians 1:21, the Apostle Paul states that:

God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

It appears that God takes pleasure in showing His ability to take the “little,” the “foolish” and the impossible for His glory and the blessing of His people. So I went back to the verse that first caught my attention. Psalm 40 was written by David and expresses the pain, dire circumstances, and absolute ruin he faced. He was at the end of his rope. He had no hope but God. How wonderful to hear his prayer for God to come quickly, but also to “be pleased” (to have fun doing so!)

It increases my faith to remember that God takes pleasure in helping His people, no matter how insignificant, how ridiculously undone they are. What joy to know He takes pleasure in our relief and loves to see how we acknowledge His hand in our rescue.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Night Shift

In her book, The Fruits of the Spirit, Evelyn Underhill writes:

“There is always night shift and sooner or later we are put on it. The praise does not cease with the fading of the light, but goes on through the spiritual night as well as the spiritual day.”

She refers to Psalm 134:

1 Praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORD
        who minister by night in the house of the LORD.
2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary
        and praise the LORD.
3 May the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth,
        bless you from Zion.

Ms. Underhill goes on to say:

“And if you are picked for the night shift—well, praise the Lord. Lift up your hands in the dark sanctuary of your soul when you are tempted to wonder what is good of it all, and praise the Lord!


...the Lord, maker of heaven and earth
    will bless you from Zion.”

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Boatload of Trouble

The disciples had just helped feed 5,000 people near the Lake of Galilee. They must have been tired. However, Mark chapter six relates that Jesus told them to get into a boat and go across the lake to Bethsaida. By the time they reached about half way, they had a "Mid-trip Crisis." A furious storm came up, and because the wind blew against them, they strained at the oars. Have you ever felt you were "straining at the oars" against a storm someone else had gotten you into?

To make this even harder to understand, Jesus could see them in this predicament as He waited on shore. And He DID wait—until sometime between 3:00 and 6:00 a.m.—to go to them. Jesus stayed where He was and prayed. This story contains the miracle of Jesus walking on the water and terrifying the disciples as He came alongside them. His words must have brought great relief to them, these hardened fishermen who saw many storms on this lake. He spoke, "Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid." Then He climbed into the boat and the wind died down. John chapter six adds that "Immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading."

Jesus may leave us "in the boat straining at the oars" way beyond what we think our strength can bear. He wants to build our endurance and our faith. But, what sweet relief we feel when we know He has come to us and joined us in the storm. He can speak peace to us in that terrible place and what is more, help us immediately get to our destination.

When we feel that God has left us alone in the storm, we can be assured by this story that He watches us and prays for us like He did for the disciples. We can have confidence to keep going until such time as He reaches us and "climbs into the boat!"