"So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary, beholding Your power and glory. Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live; in Your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise You with joyful lips, when I remember You upon my bed, and meditate on You in the watches of the night; for You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me."
This psalm is so full of praise, the words are so worshipful and hungry for God. It speaks confidently of God’s great love and His abundant glory and safety. But, this psalm was not written in the palace courts when David was clad in finery and lounged in luxury. This psalm was written while he was in the wilderness of Judah.
Because he knew, already, the greatness of the God he served. He had seen His glory, He knew that the steadfast love of God is better than life. He had faith that God had a hope for him.
There are so many examples of God revealing His power in the wilderness. Elijah and the widow, Israel being led through the desert to get to the Promised Land, Jesus resisting temptation in the wilderness before He went and turned the world upside down.
Sometimes, we feel as if we are in a wilderness. When we are in a new city and we’re burnt out visiting churches without finding one that feels like home. When we are working and not seeing the fruit of our labor or we are working but not in the position we think we should be (in the church, in baseball, in the workplace, etc.) leaning on our own understanding and not His infinite wisdom. When we are frustrated and dried up, when things aren’t going so well, we may feel like God isn’t working in our lives. But in reality, He could be doing something greater than we can imagine on the other side of the wilderness.
Sometimes we have to know thirst to appreciate His living water, sometimes we need to get hungry for Him to be filled. It’s easy to praise Him in the good times for the things that we see Him doing around us, but He wants us to worship Him in the wilderness.
The children of Israel had to spend extra time in the wilderness because they kept worshipping other things and getting their focus off of God. When we try to jump ahead of God’s plan, when we get dissatisfied and decide to find our own way to what He has in store, we could spend extra time wandering. But when we learn to worship Him and let Him lead us through the wilderness, there is a Promised Land on the other side.
Prayer: God, thank you for all the amazing things that you have done for us and the great things you have in store. Thank you for going with me through the wilderness. I pray for guidance in the good times and the bad and for help to keep my focus on you where it belongs and I praise you for who you are, my Abba Father. Amen.
Suggested Reading: Psalm 63