Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. —Psalm 63:4-7
David makes the point once again of the importance of praising God during times of trial, even when words seem empty and the night hours are spent in sleeplessness, and the desert experience continues on into the day without relief.
He writes: “I will bless You . . . I will lift up my hands in Your name. . . . My mouth will praise you with joyful lips.” In the middle of this dry place, he mentions being satisfied as with marrow and fatness, figurative terms for feasting or bounty. He finds reason to rejoice in the knowledge that God is still caring for him and seeinghim through this trial. Remember, David is in the wilderness of Judah. It’s hot. He’s thirsty in body and soul, but he doesn’t first go looking for water for his flesh but for that which will water his soul. And this is why he can lift up his hands in praise.
We may well wonder where he finds the desire and ability to do this under his present circumstances. He meditates, remembering that God has always been his help. Now, in the shadows of the night that bring relief from the scorching sun, he meditates on God’s love and goodness as he rests in the shadow of His wings.
Sometimes during those night watches we may think about things that frighten us and cause us to question God. Those things are certainly out there, but David tells us that when we’re in the wilderness, the best action we can take is to look to the God of Judah, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and allow our souls to follow closely after Him.
When you find yourself in one of these desert experiences, remember this: Some things can be learned only during those dry seasons. Have you ever toured a cave or a mine that was well lit, and then, while you’re deep in its recesses, the guide turns out the lights, and it becomes so dark that you literally can’t see your hand in front of your face? Then he lights a match, and the entire cave is illuminated by that one tiny light!
The same is true for our lives when it comes to God’s manifested power, whether it’s the power to deliver or to comfort or anything else. We find that power highlighted during the difficult and dry seasons in which we find ourselves. How many testimonies have you heard of God pouring out His love and care and protection during a time when someone felt like they were passing through the floodwaters but knew that He was holding them closely to Himself through it all?
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