by Sarah Beliveau
Recently I heard a sermon about prayer, and they stopped on Psalm 27 … and it has been playing on repeat in my mind for almost two weeks now, both challenging and inspiring me. I would love for you to take 56.62 seconds (yes, I timed it) and read through it … I’ll wait …
Finished? OK, now go back and read through it again slowly, ruminating a bit on each expression and thought that David is processing. About 1 minute 18.65 seconds, taking my time.
Two things were highlighted in the sermon: the idea of asking ONE thing of the Lord – to dwell in His house and gaze at His beauty forever – and the idea that He is the stronghold of our life. The question was asked: Is He your stronghold? Your place of rest? Or is it your family, your next day off (gosh, this is easy to fall into and cling to the next “day of rest”), your next vacation, etc., etc., etc. …?
It convicted my heart and made me realize for the seven billionth time in my short life just how EASY it is to live in the proverbial state of holding my breath “until” … how tempting it is to complain about my circumstances, while longing for Him to change them. Now, I should mention at this point that I don’t think God desires for us to live in a constant state of being overworked and stressed out.
BUT … I wholeheartedly believe that He doesn’t care about your current circumstances as much as He cares about whether you are looking to Him as your rest, your source, your strength, hope, life, and peace! As much as He cares about having your heart’s affection! His desire is to love you … and be loved by you, not simply be the guy who makes your life easy.
Go back and look at David’s process in Psalm 27. He declares who God is, and that he need not be afraid of anything, and then writes about every circumstance in the context of that truth! He goes back and forth: stating the circumstances, and then declaring who God is in the midst of them. Accosted on every side, yet the ONE THING he asked of the Lord? To dwell in His house and gaze at His beauty. The circle always came back to that point.
Just stop and think about that! I am crying as I write this because of the poignancy of that simple prayer in the context of David’s circumstances.
How many times have I prayed that God would relieve my pain or stress or load … simply because I can’t carry it anymore, because I am just too tired or weary? Loving and longing for relief more than Him, the one who IS my rest, peace, and grace. He is the goal, the treasure, the light, and salvation … REGARDLESS of anything else.
It had me shaking my head as if I were clearing the cobwebs of a dream and waking into reality … we don’t hope in Him because He is the means to an end, a way out of our circumstances … we hope in Him because He IS the end.
The closing line is one of the most hopeful and inspiring I have read in a long time … and here I am tearing up again at His goodness …
“Wait for the Lord, be strong and courageous, wait for the Lord!”
In light of this whole psalm, I realized … we are ABLE to be strong and courageous because He has rescued us! He IS our light and our salvation.
Don’t stop seeking His face until it this becomes real in your heart. I promise if you spend more than 1 minute and 18.65 seconds gazing at His beauty, the world and all the “enemies” in it will begin to fade.
Question: Is He the stronghold of your life? If you were to take a very honest look at your heart, would you find that you desire HIM or simply relief?
Prayer: Father, I pray that my heart would begin to recognize areas where you are not my delight. That when I realize that I desire relief from my burdens more than I desire YOU, I am missing the point! I pray that You would shine a light on the truth and that I would begin to command my heart to look at Your face, and trust that You will raise my head, setting my gaze on you, looking straight into Your eyes. I pray that You would graciously remind me not to complain about my daily life, wishing that it was less stressful, but to find my rest in You … all the days of my life.
WELCOME, FRIENDS. I’m Sarah Beliveau, a creative soul who loves Jesus! I’m most interested in seeing the gospel lived in the everyday moments, and I long to express beauty and truth through the creative arts. I live life together with an amazing community, in the perfect (well, in my ever so humble opinion) New England region. I am a chronic pain overcomer, traveling hair stylist, mental-health advocate and caretaker, mentor, artist and designer, aspiring actress, writer, and basically lover of all things creative. I’m so thankful you’re here, traipsing together through the wild journey we call life. You’re loved, and oh so welcome.
Sarah is a member of by design’s WeConnect Leadership Team. Read more about WeConnect!