Carried By The Church
What is Your Story?
Each midweek, I join a small group through my church to dig deeper in faith. By the time Wednesday rolls around, I’m already set in my schedule, feeling like my plate is full and thinking about what excuse I could use to stay home (which is a difficult task when your husband leads the group).
Each week, however, I am thankful that I paused the craziness of the outside world for a couple of hours to be around people who don’t have much more in common with me than worshipping a glorious Savior.
Our night begins the same, with the really cute leader asking the group the following two questions: “Where do you see God working in your life?” and “What are you praying for?”
The past several weeks have brought up the same answers for me. My heart has been broken for a couple of dear friends who have been struggling with God’s goodness and mercy through very real pain.
Sometimes the pain of our hearts can best be articulated through the words of Scripture. I found this to be true when I came upon Psalm 143. David, the writer of this and many other beautiful Psalms, greatly struggles to endure some very painful circumstances. Although his faith is flawed, like ours, he tries to remind his own heart time and time again to trust in God – that God loves him and is with him, even when he feels deserted.
1 Hear my prayer, O LORD; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
2 Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.
3 For the enemy has pursued my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.
4 Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled.
5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands.
6 I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah
7 Answer me quickly, O LORD! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
8Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
9 Deliver me from my enemies, O LORD! I have fled to you for refuge.
10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!
11 For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life! In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
12 And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies, and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul, for I am your servant.
In times when my heart resonates with David’s words, it’s clear to me that God has provided the means by which I can walk through pain – with the family into which He’s adopted me.
During my small group, I can see both in my life and in the lives around me:
- God is faithful (vs 1).
- The enemy seeks to destroy me (vs 3).
- I can remember God’s record of faithfulness (vs 5).
- I am made to need Him (vs 6).
- I can acknowledge my weakness (vs 7).
- God’s love never wanes (vs 8).
- God will deliver me (vs 9).
- My role is one of action, not complaining (vs 10).
- God will save His people (vs 12).
When Moses grows weak, in Exodus 17, he relies on his brothers to hold him up. How beautiful that our loving Father still provides us with such a community that when we are weak, there are others to come alongside us and hold us up.
And that is how I know that my prayers are not in vain.
See You In The Round,
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."