“Lord, be gracious to us! We wait for You. Be our strength every morning and our salvation in time of trouble.” Isaiah 33:2
Do you ever read Scripture as if it was like Swiss Cheese? Yummy goodness with random holes here and there. How easy it is to pick and choose the parts we immediately resonate with while unintentionally ignoring others, as though they were not there. As I read the beautiful words found in Isaiah 33:2, I realized how easy it is to leave out the “middle section” of this verse as I go about my days. It’s easy to want to “do” instead of “wait” and to begin the day in my own strength instead of clinging to His.
Oh, I want the Lord to be gracious to me. I desperately need His undeserved favor and kindness. I know there is no hope without His grace in my life, but do I wait for Him? Do I seek to be still, and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10)? Do I patiently fix my eyes on the Lord and look to Him with joyful expectation…even when the Lord sees fit, in His grace, to withhold what I desire for days, weeks, months, or even years? Or do I try to manipulate situations to achieve the outcome I am looking for? Do I grumble and complain and seek to drag others into my misery, or worse, blame them? Do I doubt the goodness of God and profane the very name that gave me life instead of clinging to Him because He is my life and my length of days (Deuteronomy 30:20)?
And then there is the Lord’s salvation. His salvation has ransomed my life from hell and keeps me safe until He brings me to glory. How my heart rejoices that the Lord is my salvation in times of trouble! There is nothing that will ever come to me that has not first gone through His mighty hands. With such a great salvation, you would think there would never be a moment’s worry or fear about the details of my days. After all, God’s grace is enough and His Word tells me that it is sufficient at all times, in all things, and for all that I need (2 Corinthians 9:8). But how often do I show my very doubt of that truth when I do not seek Him and cry out for His strength each and every day. Instead, my feet are quick to fly out of bed with thoughts of how much I need to do and the checklist I need to get started on. I often find myself overwhelmed before I even get started. Somewhere, in those moments, I have forgotten to take my thoughts captive to obey Christ, to cling to His Word, and renew my mind with His thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5, Romans 12:2). He says that my days are already numbered and ordered, even down to the good works He has planned for me to do (Psalm 139:16, Ephesians 2:10). His Word reminds me that His strength is perfected in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). His truth beckons my heart to not worry about anything but pray and give thanks in all things (Philippians 4:6).
What amazing grace! What a great salvation is ours! May our lips declare both of these truths, while not neglecting the precious commands to wait on the Lord and find our daily strength in His almighty hands. May we not be those who have imaginary holes in our Bibles because of the parts we have left out, but those who obey and cling to the whole counsel of God’s Word. May His decrees be our delight and our counselor (Psalm 119:24)!