I woke yesterday morning with a strange mix of emotions swirling through me. As I sat with the Lord, I couldn't quite put my finger on how I was feeling or what I was thinking but I do know, that in the midst of it all, was a fear of failing - of falling down, back into the muck and mire in a specific area of my life. The Lord is definitely taking me to a new level of obedience and tearing down a stronghold. On one hand, I'm so excited to think I could be free! On the other hand, I know me. My track record suggests falling is not only possible but probable. And so went my dilemma... I decided that I needed to just do the next "right" thing and so I pulled out my devotional books and began to read Truth.
The first paragraph caught my attention. It quoted from Psalm 31:23 and how God promises to "preserve" me. That sounded like exactly what I needed to hear. I opened my Bible to read the verse in context. I was struck by the end of verse 21, "when I was in a besieged city." That's how I felt! I felt like I was in a besieged city. For the moment, I still had all that I needed to stand but I was worried the fall was coming. Verse 22 says that, "I had said in my alarm, 'I am cut off from your sight.'" Wasn't that really what I was saying to the Lord? Can You see me? Am I going to be alright?
Don't you just love the LORD?! Just like the words that come next, "But You heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to You for help," God had heard the voice behind my cry. He put words to how I was feeling and He was offering me mercy and help. Praise God!
That brought me to verse 23, the one that had caught my attention in the first place. Now, LORD, tell me how You will "preserve" me! "Preserve" is translated from the Hebrew word "natsar" (Strong's #5341). It means to guard. Remember how He shut the lion's mouths, kept the fiery furnace flames from consuming Shadrack, Meshak and Abednego? I asked myself. The definition continues... to protect, to maintain, to keep... Which in the definition has a play on the word "besieged"!! Of course it does! Besiege me, LORD!
And how does the passage end? "Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!" (emphasis mine)
Abba, when I hear You tell me these things, I have to wonder at the word "faithful". You preserve the faithful. Isn't that my concern? That I won't be faithful? But this is how I will view it today. Being faith-full has to start somewhere and it seems to me that exercising faith that You can AND WILL do all these things You've promised is the place to start! Thank You in advance for how You will preserve me today (and tomorrows). Please help me to take each day one day at a time! May I hear You say, "In My strength and My power, child, you CAN stay faithful today!" In the Name of Jesus, let it be done!