With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O Lord! I will keep Your statutes.
I call to you; save me, that I may observe your testimonies.
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.
In the present season of my life, these words perfectly express my increasing sense both of my dependence on God and of my own weakness. Today, I find myself in the midst of prayerful and expectant waiting; a time of pruning in which even some branches I believed might bear fruit are being stripped away.
Ugly and bare as my life looks now (at least to me), I know that the Vinedresser is experienced and wise. His shears never trim any shoot useful to Him but only the suckers which may look innocent or even beautiful, yet sap the strength of the plant, robbing it of maximum potential.
Yet I do not wait passively as He removes the excess. As I wait, I cry out to Him with my whole heart, just as David writes. I, too, long to keep His statutes, but I also know from experience the extend of my feebleness in doing so. It is only through His grace that I can stay on the narrow path at all.
Other heart-cries are for His intervention in situations beyond my control; some unnameable, others are requests that my children or other loved ones to choose always to walk in His ways. I find myself frequently rising before dawn to cry for His help in these matters; believing that He will save, redeem, and restore but persisting in asking as I recall Jesus’ on words in Luke 11:8-9.
In addition to these, I voice my wholehearted appeal before God to guide my family well, to give my husband Godly wisdom in his leadership, and to make clear our understanding for all decisions we make. In numerous ways I am at a crossroads during this time of pruning, and I desperately desire my Lord’s direction and His counsel. When the time comes to move forward, I want to know which way to direct my feet.
And so I pray and I wait for His answers, but I do not wait alone. Many friends are also waiting on decisions, wisdom from God, or His help in troubled times. In my prayers, I make supplication to the Almighty for them as well.
When my mind becomes anxious or afraid, I have taken to meditating on His promises, as David writes; sometimes early and sometimes late. Again, as the morning dawns, I raise my voice again, calling on the Lord of Hosts to fight for His people, to guide His people, to grant us wisdom, to wake us up.
When He seems to delay in His answers, while waiting on a clear purpose or direction I simply hope in His words. His ways are good, and I take comfort that His testimonies are established forever, from a time more ancient than stone and continuing through the reach of eternity far beyond that point at which my mind falters and fails.
So long as I remain planted among the thorns of the earth, it is good to know that He is near and that all His commandments are true. This knowledge brings great joy in times of uncertainty, and for that I am thankful.
Mighty God, we wait on You to quicken us to life, and while we wait we cry out to You for help, asking that You answer us and guide us in the way we should go. Teach us to keep Your statutes, to meditate on Your promises, to rise early with our heart-cries on our lips. Thank You that You are unchanging and that Your testimonies are established forever. Thank You for being the firm Foundation on which we can stand and build!