As I write this, God has been leading me into the wilderness again, so it is fitting that my thoughts turn to Psalm 63, written by David when he too, found himself in the wilderness.
What impresses me about Psalm 63 is the way in which David recalls moments when he has seen God’s power and glory. In fact, it was God Himself that he saw in in the house of worship.(Psalm 63:2-5).
I wonder what it was that David saw? And when have I seen evidence of God’s power and glory in my life?
I vividly recall the time that I, along with other leaders in the church I was pastoring were called to the bedside of a young expectant Mum who was in the beginnings of suffering a miscarriage.
Humanly speaking it seemed impossible that she would carry her child full term.
But we gathered around her hospital bed, held hands and prayed.
I confess that my faith was weak and I left the hospital fully expecting a call later that day to say that she had lost her baby.
But she didn’t and she gave birth a few months later to a very healthy boy!
It was certainly a demonstration of God’s power, if not His glory.
But as I said previously, David says that He saw God in the sanctuary (Psalm 63:2). I take this to mean that God Himself was the One that David sought – the One we also seek in our wilderness times – and that this was a greater blessing by far than His acts of power and glory.
So right there in the wilderness, David chooses to both praise and rejoice in God. His will be a life of constant praise and of giving glory to God with his words and songs. And the reason for all of this is a quite remarkable statement in verse three:
“Because your love is better than life…”
To know the love of God in your life and the peace, comfort and security this brings is a greater gift than life itself, even in the wilderness.
“God Himself is enough for me and my soul is satisfied.”(Psalm 63:5)
But being in the wilderness is never a fun experience. I have had many times where I have doubted God’s presence – “Are you really with me, Lord?”
Times I have doubted His goodness – “Why this, at this time, Lord?”
Times I have doubted His power – “Are you really going to heal me?”
But the message of David through Psalm 63 is fairly straightforward to me as I walk through this wilderness time.
I can choose to live a life of constant praise to my Father and to thank Him every day.
I can choose to live my life for His glory and to rest in the peace, comfort and security of God’s love for me.
I know that is easier said than done. When you are feeling emotionally exhausted, that perhaps you have become lost in this wilderness and might never find your way out, the idea of resting in the assurance of God’s love seems like a cruel joke.
But here is what I have discovered.
While it seems as if He is not there (I have felt this many times), my Father has consistently reminded me of His presence with me, even if I cannot “feel” it.
Sometimes it is a promise of Scripture: ” Fear not, I am with you…”
Or it has come through the encouragement, prayers, loyal love and faith of my wife, Karen.
And I have seen His presence in the love and support of colleagues and friends who have simply asked me how I am going.
So here, in the wilderness, I find I am able to tell God how much I love Him, thanking Him for every good gift in my life and for teaching me again about humility and my need to depend utterly upon Him.
In this my soul is satisfied – in and with God Himself.
He is enough…