Nov 1

Looking Up

2011 at 11:53 am   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Suffering

“3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. 6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. 7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!.” (Psalm 37:3-7)

One thing above all has enabled me to dwell at peace in the midst of this trial: looking to the Lord alone, focusing “the eyes of my heart” deliberately and entirely upon God and His sovereignty, wisdom, and love.

“Look up!” exhorts Derek Kidner in his commentary on Psalm 37:

“An obsession with enemies and rivals cannot be simply switched off, but it can be ousted by a new focus of attention; note the preoccupation with the Lord Himself, expressed in the four phrases that contain His name here. It includes a deliberate redirection of one’s emotions (4a, take delight), and an entrusting of one’s career (your way, 5) and reputation (your vindication, 6) to Him. This is a liberation.”

True liberation from our troubles is achieved when we follow the steps laid out for us in Psalm 37, when we deliberately redirect our emotions to delight in the Lord and entrust our reputation and our future entirely to Him. Our preoccupation with our enemies can only be ousted by a new preoccupation: the glory and the goodness of God.

As I have sought to fill my mind—through Scripture, sermons, and songs—with thoughts of the Lord and who He is and what He has done and what He promises to do, I have been able to experience freedom, peace, and even joy in the midst of this most difficult trial. It doesn’t mean the pain or difficulty is removed, but that is not the focus of my attention. It is the Lord. To Him will I look.