“I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:1-3 NASB1995
These verses, from this translation, have been among my favorites for more than forty years. I love how David paints such a personal word picture. It seems as if he wrote this psalm just for me. Many times I have felt in over my head or trapped in the muck and mire of poor decisions and situations out of my control. So often I’ve been absolutely unable to climb out of the hole I’ve dug for myself. But, every time God has reached down and lifted me up, put me back on solid ground, pointed me in the right direction, and sent me on my way. And I was off with a song in my heart.
And then, one day not so long ago, I read those very familiar verses in a different translation. Suddenly, it wasn’t just being strong and independent with an occasional need for help. It had become relationship, commitment, and unconditional love. It wasn’t about being all grown up and standing on my own two feet. It was now being like a child holding on to Daddy’s hands while learning to walk. Didn’t Jesus say something about becoming like children if we want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? (Mark 10:15)
Here’s the other translation.
“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:1-3 NLT
Father, I confess my willful independence and my need for greater childlikeness. Thank you for steadying me as I walk through life.
~ Peggy Lundy, writer
~ Caitlin Rhea Spaulding, photographer, https://www.caitlinrheaphotography.com/