Yesterday I was feeling overwhelmed with fear for the baby and was even feeling scared of God. Sometimes I am afraid that His best plan for my life includes more suffering and terrible loss in the future (including the loss of this precious baby.) I was alone in a pretty courtyard while Josh took the boys for a walk. I had a choice- wallow in fear and dread or cry out to God. I cried out to God, which I am learning to do more and more throughout this difficult pregnancy. I felt like God wanted me to read Psalm 31 or maybe I read it because it was January 31st and I didn’t know what else to do 🙂 But either way, He lead me to Psalm 31. I was so encouraged by this chapter written by David. I kind of felt like it was showing me exactly what to do when I’m feeling overwhelmed by fear and doubt about God’s plan for me.
First, he takes refuge in God. I struggled with this a lot at the beginning of this pregnancy because I was skeptical and afraid to take refuge in God. I did when I was pregnant with Lucy and it ended in disaster. Slowly He has been drawing me closer, though, and gently showing me that He can be trusted as a shelter in times of trouble. I am the most comforted and the most confident when I turn to Him in my despair and take refuge in Him.
Psalm 31:1-4 In you, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me! Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, and strong fortress to save me! For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me; you take me out of the net they have hidden for me; for you are my refuge.
Another thing I noticed was that David was HONEST with God about how he was feeling. He was deep in grief, he was afraid and he felt absolutely forgotten. Oh, how I can relate. I am so thankful that God wants us to be honest with Him and tell Him exactly how we are feeling. David says:
Psalm 31:9-12 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also. For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; and my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away. Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach, especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me. I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel.
Even though David was feeling broken, afraid and forgotten, he still acknowledged God’s “abundant goodness” and “steadfast love.” Then, he ASKS God to bless him, to save him and to “make your face shine on your servant.” For some reason I sometimes feel guilty for asking God, again and again, to bless me with a live baby. Maybe this is a weird Christian thing, I have no idea, but I sometimes feel like I shouldn’t be asking God to send me good gifts. I feel like I need to just accept all the suffering and not long for more. I’m wrong, by the way, and I’m thankful for this chapter that is showing me clearly, that God wants us to ask Him for His love, goodness and blessings.
Psalm 31: 16, 19, 21, 22 Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love! ….O, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind! …Blessed be the Lord, for He has wondrously shown His steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city. I had said in my alarm, “I am cut off from your sight.” But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help.
When I read those last two verses I started crying. Those were the verses God encouraged me with on Scarlet’s due date, only two days after learning of Kailee and Peter’s betrayal. I truly felt panicked and cut off from God’s sight. I felt like I was back in the old besieged city of loss and terror and do you know what God told me on that day? He gave me these verses and told me that He was going to wondrously show me His steadfast love while I was there in that besieged city, that place of mourning. I heard Him and decided to trust Him but honestly, I thought, “How in the WORLD is He going to do that?” It seemed impossible, but guess what? This sweet little baby was conceived and brought to life only days later. He heard my please for mercy when I cried to Him for help. He has wondrously shown me His steadfast love and He will show you too if you want Him too. Thank you, Jesus, for hearing me and for giving me this precious sixth child who’s heart is beating away in my womb at this moment.
The chapter ends with one of my favorite verses in the Bible:
Psalm 31: 24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!
Don’t give up, even if you are feeling like David, forgotten and afraid. Take courage and take refuge in God. He will hear your cries. He will save you and show you His wondrous love EVEN when you are in a besieged city.
Thank you Bethany for encouraing us even while you are in your own besieged city. I acknowledge that you are going out on a limb here, declaring your trust in a faithful God (staring fear defiantly in the face, with your faith). You are such an awesome mother, and we believe this awesome God will say YES to all your prayers.