A reflection on Psalm 37 - Mel Pavis
Mel writes a beautiful reflection on Psalm 37, encouraging us to reflect on topics such as trust, delight, commitment, and stillness before the Lord.
I’ve found myself spending a bit of time in Psalm 37 lately. Especially verses three to seven. There are four specific suggestions, well actually commandments, that have stood out to me and keep tugging at me.
“Trust in the Lord” – verse 3
Author Brennan Manning once asked a friend if he could sum up the Christian life in one sentence. The friend replied that he could do better than that, he could sum it up on one word – trust. Trust is a huge thing. To trust means I am letting go of any control I think I have; and I prefer to think I have control. I need to remember who it is that I’m putting my trust in.
“God is too good to be unkind
God is too wise to be confused
When I cannot trace his hand
I can always trust his heart.”
Even when I don’t understand what’s going on in my life, I can choose again and again to trust Him. At times I’ve even cried out to Him to help me to trust Him. Like the man in the Bible who cried out “I believe, help me overcome my unbelief,” (Mark chapter 9, verse 24) I have cried out “I trust you; help me overcome my distrust.”
I wonder what part of your life God may be asking you to trust Him with?
“Take delight in the Lord” – verse 4
When I looked up the word delight, the definition said: “something that gives great pleasure.” There are many things that give me great pleasure: a sunrise/sunset, birds, flowers, the sea, my children’s laughter, a great cup of coffee, a good book, or time spent with a best friend. When we delight in something one thing’s for sure we are very present to whatever it is we are delighting in.
I wonder what delighting in God looks like. Maybe it involves spending time with Him, thinking about who He is and, taking pleasure in Him, not just His gifts. Thinking on His excellence, greatness, faithfulness, kindness, love, etc.
In “Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that battle for your heart”, Kyle Idleman writes, “We were made for God, and until He is our greatest pleasure, all other pleasures of this life will lead to emptiness.”
How might you take delight in the Lord?
Maybe stilling our bodies, minds and souls is one way we can show trust in Him, a time to delight in Him and to commit our way to Him. Maybe it’s a time of divine exchange. Our concerns for His peace. Our weakness for His strength. Our fears for His love.
“Commit your way to the Lord” – verse 5
In all the upheaval we are going through at the moment the future doesn’t look as clear cut as it used to. We may be facing a job loss, health scares, family tension, or anxious thinking. What can you and I do daily to commit our way, our future to the Lord? Maybe it’s as simple as starting each day in prayer presenting ourselves, our family, and our future to Him and asking Him to go before us and make a way for us.
The lyrics to the song “Way Maker” come to mind. “You are way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper, light in the darkness, my God, that is who You are.” As we remember who God is, it becomes slightly easier to commit our way to Him.
What might it look like for you to commit your way to the Lord?
“Be still before the Lord” – verse 7
I think many of us find it hard to be still. Blaise Pascal said, “Most of man’s trouble comes from his inability to be still.”
Verse 7 goes a bit further… being still “before the Lord.” What does that even mean or look like? Maybe it’s more than just a physical stillness. Maybe it’s also a stilling of our minds and souls. Maybe stilling our bodies, minds and souls is one way we can show trust in Him, a time to delight in Him and to commit our way to Him. Maybe it’s a time of divine exchange. Our concerns for His peace. Our weakness for His strength. Our fears for His love. Sounds amazing! I love this poem by Ted Loder.
Into an unclenched moment,
A deep breath,
A letting go of heavy expectancies,
Of shriveling anxieties,
Of dead certainties,
That, softened by the silence,
Surrounded by the light,
And open to the mystery,
I may be found by wholeness,
Upheld by the unfathomable,
Entranced by the simple,
And filled with the joy
That is you.”
I encourage you to have a read of these verses, see what goes alongside these commands, rest in them, and allow God to speak to you through them.
Mel Pavis has worked at Windsor Park Baptist church for many years and is passionate about helping people deepen their relationship with Jesus. In her spare time she loves reading, writing and walking the streets of Torbay. //
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