Psalm 40

Life is messy.

Sometimes, life is the pits.

We can feel stuck, immobilized as if we were in a slimy pit of mud and mire.

David wrote the song of Psalm 40 for times like this. He wrote of a time when God rescued him from the pit, lifting him up and setting his feet on a rock, exchanging mud for a solid place to stand. David responded with a new song of praise. Many who heard his testimony of God’s rescue put their trust in God. And having been rescued by God in the past, David cries out to God to deliver him from his present troubles.

My friend Melanie sang this song too. Any time she was asked to give a testimony to God’s saving grace, she quoted David’s words from Psalm 40:1-2.

I waited patiently for the LORD;
He turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

Melanie sang the song of the rescued, telling others how God lifted her out of the pit of her sins. Melanie stood on solid ground at the foot of the cross, where Jesus died to pay for her sins, exchanging her mud and mire for new life. Many saw her changed life, heard her testimony of grace, and put their trust in God.

But Melanie’s testimony wasn’t just about her salvation story. Like David, she encountered life’s pits and troubles, got stuck, and cried out to God again and again for help, confident He would answer.

So when I would find myself stuck, mired down in my own troubles, it was easy to go to Melanie for help. When you’ve been rescued from a pit, you have compassion on those who are stuck in a pit of their own.

When my heart was heavy, I often sought relief at Melanie’s house. Her friendship and her prayers were always an encouragement. And from her porch, I could look out and see the sky over tops of trees and low mountain ridges in the distance. Sometimes only beauty helps. Melanie understood this about me.

One day, I drove up to her house to sit on the porch. When I arrived, instead of inviting me to the porch, Melanie told me to get in her car. She said she had a more beautiful place to take me.

She drove me to a hidden park, with a rocky bluff and breathtaking views. For the next hour or so, we didn’t talk. We walked around on our own chosen paths, drinking in deeply the beauty and variety of creation. I found myself standing on a rock formation, looking out across miles to see an uninterrupted view of trees and sky. Surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation, I was able to pray and cry out to God for rescue from the troubles that plagued my heart.

God delivered me from a pit of despair that day. And He used my friend Melanie to help.

It’s been more than fifteen years since that day when my friend dropped everything she had going on because I was in a pit.

Today, while on one of our weekend drives, my husband and I decided to go to the hidden park. It was my husband’s first time to take in those views. And as I stood on the rocks again, I couldn’t help but think of Psalm 40 and my friend who found her life’s story in its words.

My friend Melanie is in heaven now.
There are no more pits for her.

I still walk this broken planet.
Life is messy. Pits abound.
But I’ve been rescued time and time again by our faithful God.

I will continue to testify to His goodness and grace and cry out to Him when I am in need.

Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord…
Many, Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare. (v. 4-5)

But as for me, I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
you are my God, do not delay. (v. 17)

And I will look forward to the day when, like Melanie, my rescue is complete. Until then, I will sing the song of the rescued here on this broken planet.

May those who hear put their trust in the Lord.

Father, thank you for for hearing my cries for help. Thank you coming to my rescue, for lifting me out of the pit and setting my feet on a rock. And thank you for faithful friends who remind me of Your truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

psalm 40

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