I suppose most everyone has those times of weakness and reaction to distressful situations. Let's face it. Every day brings its own difficulty for each of us. You may be a laid-back, calm and patient person like my husband. It may not bother you to have a series of mishaps all day long. You may be able to shake it off and keep on plugging. But if you are anything like me, most irritants poke your emotional button and rip out the wiring inside your brain. The times I find myself less frenzied and fretful are times I've totally given my situation over to God. I know I do this when I am able to ignore unkind words, dismiss condescending tones, and chuckle at arrogant attitudes. It's these times of respite against my own angst and anxiety that my heart is filled with the prayer below:
"O LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress." Isaiah 33:2
Often we fail to start our day with God. We push the coffee button, whip out our toothbrush, check the weather and maybe the news. Then we head on out the door, or sit down to our computers. We depend on our health, our strength, our intellect to get us through the day. We trust our reserve of energy, patience, tolerance and contentment to carry us till we return home. One traffic detour, three slowpokes and tardy arrival to work and we simmering. Three clerical errors, two disgruntled phone conversations, and an overdue bill sets in motion intolerance when others are weak, or ignorant, or less accomodating to our needs. And that is the secret in this prayer.
We "long" for our own plans to be met. Do we "long" for God? We rely on our own strength, depend upon ourselves in times of distress. God wants us to long for HIM...to seek Him. He knows we are weak. He knows we need to seek Him daily, each morning; Jesus told us to pray for our "daily" bread. He is our "bread"...for man cannot live by bread alone. We need Jesus. We need God. When we seek Him, He is our strength and our salvation.
I was watching a Jimmy Stewart movie this morning as he, acting as Charles Lindbergh, was preparing for a trans-Atlantic flight to Paris, France. A few days before the flight, Lindbergh took a priest up for a training flight. In conversation, the priest explained all the little prayers he had for every portion of his own flying experiences--right down to the landing of a plane. Lindbergh scoffed when the priest asked, "Don't you believe in God?"
"I believe in gauges, instrument panels...things I can see and touch. I can't touch God." Lindbergh replied.
The priest countered, "You're not suppose to, He touches you."
This made me think how great our God is. He undergirds and carries and keeps us in the palm of His hand, in view of His watchful eye. There is no shadow of turning in Him--no corrections needed. He is completely light--his focus ever clear. He is never caught unaware as we are. When we entrust our day to Him and rest in His strength, He doesn't let us down. There is no distress He cannot handle.
LORD, if there is someone today who reads these words of mine and Yours, I pray they find their strength in You. I pray they don't believe in their own instruments and gauges...but in You. Let them know Your peace amid their every difficulty. selahV