I love this epic Psalm…
“Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in. Let them thank the LORD for His steadfast love, for His wondrous works to the children of man! For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things. Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in affliction and in irons, for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High. So He bowed their hearts down with hard labor; they fell down, with none to help. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart. Let them thank the LORD for His steadfast love, for His wondrous works to the children of man! For He shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron. Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction; they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress. He sent out His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Let them thank the LORD for His steadfast love, for His wondrous works to the children of man! And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His deeds in songs of joy! Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; they saw the deeds of the LORD, His wondrous works in the deep. For He commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits’ end. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and He brought them to their desired haven. Let them thank the LORD for His steadfast love, for His wondrous works to the children of man! Let them extol Him in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the assembly of the elders. He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground, a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the evil of its inhabitants. He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. And there He lets the hungry dwell, and they establish a city to live in; they sow fields and plant vineyards and get a fruitful yield. By His blessing they multiply greatly, and He does not let their livestock diminish. When they are diminished and brought low through oppression, evil, and sorrow, He pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes; but He raises up the needy out of affliction and makes their families like flocks. The upright see it and are glad, and all wickedness shuts its mouth. Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.” – Psalm 107
We do well to seek advice. For that is a very wise thing to do, to seek counsel from others more knowledgeable than us. But there’s something to being at your wits’ end that begs for more than instruction. Psalm 107 illustrates a season in the storm. In particular, there are men in ships doing business on great waters who are literally struck by a tempest. Scripture says, “They reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits’ end” (v. 27). Their response to being completely helpless was to cry out to the Lord. No how-to’s, no catchy quotes, no cute preservers, but just an honest and urgent plea to be delivered from a situation that was more than they could navigate. What did the Lord do on their behalf? He showed them His steadfast love. He calmed the waters, hushed the sea, and brought them to their desired haven.
This is sustaining grace, this is the desired haven: to know God’s steadfast love that saves and keeps us. Real change won’t happen through ‘trying harder,’ but only through encountering the radical grace of God. It takes an experience of beauty to knock us out of our self-centeredness.
God is so much bigger, so much greater than our present circumstances. He is always at work, accomplishing His prefect will, even when we can’t see it, can’t feel it. God will always provide; but what He provides will be what is needed, not necessarily what is wanted. For even when He appears far from us, His Spirit is residing in your very heart, working to complete the very work He began in you. God loves us so ferociously; while we wander around like blind retarded sheep, constantly forgetting how loved we are, yet still our Father pursues us and loves us. Our God is so faithful, so beautiful. Why do we keep taking our eyes off Him?! He is so amazing, nothing at all can compare to our great God.
“I see Your face in every sunrise,
The colors of the morning are inside Your eyes.
The world awakens in the light of the day,
I look up to the sky and say:
I see Your power in the moonlit night,
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright.
We are amazed by the light of the stars,
It’s all proclaiming who You are.
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful.
I see You there hanging on a tree,
You bled, and then You died, and then You rose again for me.
Now You are sitting on Your heavenly throne,
Soon we will be coming home.
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful!
When we arrive at eternity’s shore,
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more.
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring,
Your bride will come together and we’ll sing:
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful!”
– Phil Wickham