Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He will do it…Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. ~Ps. 37:3-5,7
“I don’t want to get to comfortable because I know this isn’t a permanent season. But I also can’t treat it like a vacation because I know it’s going to be longer than that.” I told my mom. I was having one of those quaratine days (you know the kind). I was frustrated; caught between the way things were, the way things are, and the way things should be. Wondering if I was actually making the most of the situation or throwing it away.
“You need to settle in,” she said. And part of me pushed back (because things aren’t supposed to be this way) but part of me felt relief.
This is the season we’ve been given and it’s not going away with the snap of the fingers. It’s not like the light is going to turn green and we’ll accelerate back up to cruising speed continuing from where we left off (I’m not even sure if we’re at the same intersection we stopped at…).
Trust in the Lord…
Trust — do I really believe God is who He says He is and will do what He says He’ll do? Am I choosing to rest in His sovereignty or am I scrambling to ‘make things happen’ on my own strength?
…and do good.
Am I acting selfishly or putting the needs of others above myself? Am I hoarding or generously sharing my resources? Can I even see beyond myself into the needs of others?
Dwell in the land…
Sometimes our tendency to rush from place to place keeps us from putting down real roots anywhere. And if we’re honest, at that pace, it’s easy to escape, avoid, or run from things that might need to be addressed head on. But right now, we’re forced to stay; this is where we have been assigned for the current season.
…and cultivate faithfulness.
This section of the scripture has me thinking the most in that it’s translated four different ways in four different versions (above is NASB). NIV says “enjoy safe pasture,” ESV says “befriend faithfulness,” ASV says “feed on His faithfulness.”
What do all of these have in common? a commitment over time. In order to enjoy, befriend, cultivate, or feed on something, we have to spend a certain amount of time with it. These things are not instant; they take practice. They take investment. They take work. All of this takes time.
Delight yourself in the Lord…
Am I finding satisfaction in God Himself or am I jumping from distraction to distraction in order to fill a void, only He can? Do I really believe that in Jesus is the most abundant life I could ever hope for?
Side note: My brother, Caleb, has some excellent thoughts on this subject here.
…and He will give you the desires of your heart.
God knows my heart better than I do. Do I really trust that? This doesn’t mean I can manipulate God into giving us what I think I want. It means, the more I find my satisfaction and fulfillment in Him, the more my desires will line up with His and the more I will recognize the great honor and privilege it is to partner with Him.
Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him…
open hands, open hearts. There it is again — trust. He’s numbered our days before we even set foot on this planet. Do I really believe that His plans are better?
…and He will do it.
He will use us to accomplish His — not my own selfish ambitions — His plans and purposes. God doesn’t really need my help. But He invites me in.
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.
Rest assumes trust again. When I’m resting in my bed, I trust it will hold me up and that I will be safe in my sleep (ok, lame analogy, I know but still). Trust. Trust. Trust.
But didn’t it just say “commit your way”? Doesn’t that assume we’re going somewhere. Just because we’re resting, doesn’t mean we cease to move forward. Going back to the gardening analogy, farmers allow their land to rest periodically in order for it to be most fruitful. Though it sounds counterintuitive, perhaps resting allows us to be more productive in enduring the long run.
Let’s settle in, friends. Be still. Take in the scenery. Realize and recount His faithfulness. Practice endurance through patience. Yielding our dreams and plans to His. Delighting in who He is and who we are in Him.
Let’s be willing to put in the work where it needs to be done. Let’s till the soil, plant the seeds, tend the gardens. He’s placed us in this season to accomplish His plans and purposes. Let’s steward the days well but not strive to make them into something they shouldn’t be.
For another perspective on how to prosper in a time of crisis, my youngest brother, Jonathan, and I got to help our dad with his talk for a local ministry. Check it out here.