Restoration- Psalm 43

The rule of waiting time is stated as follows.

If you have time to wait, the wait time will be relatively short.

However, if you are pressed for time and have other demands on your schedule, then the wait time expands exponentially.

If you are hungry or thirsty, the wait time intensity increases.

If you, as the waiter, notice others come and go, time spent waiting seems even more unreasonable.

If you complain about the wait time, feeling sure that will help, it does not.

In our fast-paced, instant-solution culture, we don’t know much about waiting, pausing, or spiritual restoration.

Overall, Psalm 43 calls for restoration.

1 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people, from the deceitful and unjust man deliver me!
(Psalm 43:1 ESV)

The psalmist begs God to defend him and then go a step further and vindicate him. He wants his reputation restored, and his name cleared.

Refuge and Rejection

2 For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you rejected me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

(Psalm 43:2 ESV)

Every human craves love and acceptance. I feel weighed down and oppressed when rejection overwhelms me.  

How do I counter feelings of rejection?

Truth and Light

3 Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
(Psalm 43:3 ESV)

The world’s version of truth and light is available 24/7. It is easy to reach for a kind of truth and light offered by the hand-held electronic devices we all hold in our hands or pockets most of the time. In times when I am tired or overwhelmed, it is all too easy to settle for a counterfeit truth and light.

However, God’s truth and light provide powerful guidance, clarification, and authentic restoration. Ultimately, the psalmist points out, this truth and light will direct believers to God’s holy hill and dwelling place.


4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
(Psalm 43:4 ESV)

In verse 4, joy finally breaks through, and heart restoration takes hold. When believers go to the altar at the church and encounter God, praise pours forth. Believers are designed for in-person corporate worship and must attend church to experience that.

5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
(Psalm 43:5 ESV) 

At first, Verse 5 appears to be out of order here. Praising and worshipping one moment and the next, cast down and back in turmoil. However, this so accurately reflects the human condition. Our daily lives take a toll. Friends and family disappoint us, accusations come our way, and we fail far too often. At any moment, something can throw me back into turmoil. So how will I respond? How do I access restoration?

In the second half of verse 5, believers are challenged to activate hope in God.


How do we activate hope?

  • Praise Him, even when it is the last thing you feel like doing.
  • Ask a friend to pray for you. Cultivate a prayer partnership where you pray for one another regularly.
  • Read God’s word and ask Him to reveal Himself to you.
  • Give thanks for salvation. This is a gift each of us received, and it should never be taken for granted.  


Thank you, Lord, for the restoration you provide. When I feel rejected, you provide refuge. When I am lost, you provide truth and light to guide me. Help me to hold fast to hope and actively seek You every day. Thank you for the joy of my salvation. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Are You Bargaining with God in the Waiting Room? Psalm 26

Hospital waiting rooms are a great equalizer. All who enter join the fellowship of uncertainty. Plans and predictions, once held tightly, slowly tick away with the pace of watched clocks. I have logged many hours in these places over the years. Often arriving flustered and departing relieved, but now I am back again in crisis.

1 Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
2 Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind.
3 For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.
(Psalm 26:1-3 ESV)


Once again, in Psalm 26, David cries out to God in desperation. He approaches the throne of God with evidence to prove his worthiness. He arrives ready to bargain. David offers a mix of his good works and his desire to be proven worthy. Nevertheless, he ends up falling back into God’s faithfulness.

Hospital waiting rooms and dire situations in life bring out the bargainer in all of us. We hope to win over the Lord to our case with evidence of our good works and excellent behavior. However, we always come up short as we are tested and evaluated. Like the psalmist, we end up circling back to our desperate need to walk in God’s faithfulness and acknowledge the fullness of His steadfast love.

God’s Steadfast Love

God’s steadfast love for me is: 

Not based on my abilities or gifts.

Not based on what I do or don’t do.

Not based on whether I deserve it.

What can I do in challenging seasons of waiting?

4 I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites.
5 I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked.
6 I wash my hands in innocence and go around your altar, O Lord,
7 proclaiming thanksgiving aloud, and telling all your wondrous deeds.
8 O Lord, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells
(Psalm 26:4-8 ESV)

Whom I choose to wait with matters.

The company I keep influences me. Who can I gather around me in seasons of difficult waiting to hold me up in prayer? Am I willing to reach out vulnerably and ask for support?

Somehow, and it is certainly challenging, I must find ways to spend time with the Lord even when my routines are wholly disrupted and upended. Perhaps the psalmist’s reference to washing hands points to my need for soul hygiene.


Have I taken time to confess my sins and ask the Holy Spirit for an inspection?

Draw Near

Going around the altar likely points to my need to draw near God, even when I can’t go to a Sunday service because of a need to keep vigil at the hospital. How can I set aside time to sit in God’s presence and seek His guidance in places that don’t have altars?

I believe that when we seek Him, He will make new spaces available.

  • A beautiful view out the window reminds me of His creation.
  • The kindness of a nurse reveals His care for me and those I love.
  • Singing hymns and praise songs reminds me of His goodness.
  • God’s word is gloriously portable.

Proclaiming Gratitude

Verse 7 reminds me of the value of proclaiming gratitude.

What can I stop and give thanks for right now? Could I make a list? Who could I share my thanksgivings with?

9 Do not sweep my soul away with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men,
10 in whose hands are evil devices, and whose right hands are full of bribes
(Psalm 26:9-10 ESV)

Drawing near to the Lord requires me to separate myself from sinners, bloodthirsty men, evil devices, and hands filled with bribes. My first thought is to reassure myself that I have not been hanging out with the bloodthirsty recently. However, who is God calling me to separate myself from? In a difficult season, I might need to take a few steps back from those who don’t respect my boundaries or try to pile false guilt upon me.

Evil Devices

We cannot compartmentalize our spiritual life, keep company with God one day, and keep company with evil another. The term “evil devices” could remind me to consider what I spend my time focusing on. What will I fill my mind and heart with during a difficult season when I might be far from my faith community? It’s far too easy to allow electronic devices greater access to my mind and heart in hours spent waiting. While I don’t believe cell phones or tablets are evil devices, I know the Evil One would love to capture my attention and draw me away. How can I redeem the time I have? Could I read more scripture on my phone or use a texting app to share thanksgivings with a believing friend?

11 But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me.
12 My foot stands on level ground; in the great assembly I will bless the Lord.
(Psalm 26:11-12 ESV)

Walk in Truth

The world pulls and tugs on me daily to move away from seeking the Lord. It can be gentle and almost imperceptible or an all-out tug of war.

Every single day, we can choose to walk in the truth of God’s active redemption. I stand on level ground because of the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Walking in redemption based on Christ alone removes the pressure I may feel to get it all right because I can’t.

Finally, verse 12 speaks to our need to declare the truth of the Gospel aloud in the assembly with other believers. We all must be reminded to surrender every day and sometimes every hour if I am candid.

Do you find yourself in a season of waiting rooms? Are you living in the tension of knowing God has something good to come forth from a difficult season but not seeing it just yet?

I believe that we may often find ourselves there on this side of Heaven. However, the Lord is always ready and willing to join us.

Prayer for the Waiting Room

Father, as I sit in the waiting room, help me to see that your steadfast love is before my eyes,

 and help me to wait for your faithfulness. Please guide me to stay close to you by confessing my sins and keeping short accounts with you. Help me to proclaim thanksgiving aloud and tell all about your wondrous deeds even in dire situations. Please guard my heart and mind against evil devices. Please help me to walk with integrity. Please continue to redeem me and the minutes spent waiting by the power of your graciousness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.   

What do you choose in the waiting? Psalm 13

The printed factory recall letter slipped out between two pieces of junk mail. Typically, it can be rather tricky to open the multipage document with perforations along the side. As the owner of an older car, this is not my first notification. I slipped it open and read the fine print indicating the need to take my car to the local dealership for a much-needed replacement part. After making an online appointment about a week in advance, I was frustrated to deal with a day of waiting.

I will spare you the play-by-play, but after keeping my car all day, I was told the part needed will not arrive until next week. I seem to have accomplished nothing at the end of a long day of waiting. I finally brought my unfixed care home. I must now wait to hear when the part comes in, and then we may begin the process again. Sigh.


No one likes waiting.

Does knowing how long you have to wait make the waiting any easier?

In Psalm 13, the Psalmist cries out with the question, how long?

1 How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? (Psalm 13:1 ESV)

An unknown waiting period feels unbearable.

Have I been forgotten?

Does anyone even know I’m here?

These questions haunt the psalmist.

His despair grows, and he suggests the Lord is hiding from him. In times of deep sadness, I think everyone feels abandoned and alone.

2 How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? (Psalm 13:2 ESV)

A season of prolonged suffering can lead to an echo chamber forming around me. What counsel do I have for myself? Indeed, it is limited. I don’t know what I don’t know.

Sorrow’s grip pulls me into the depth of depression and further limits my perspective.

3 Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. (Psalm 13:3-4 ESV)

Have I been considered?

Have you ever had a text from someone simply checking in on you? It feels fantastic to be considered by someone else. Even if that person cannot fix the problem, or end the suffering, just knowing someone thought about you. This information can ease feelings of isolation.

Falling into a pit of despair can lead me to consider all the worst-case scenarios. A temporary illness triggers the conclusion that I might be dying, or all is lost, or there is no hope for a remedy.

Is this what the psalmist is struggling with?

The psalmist has come to the end of his resources and declares that he is shaken. He’s tired of waiting. What can he do?  

5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me. (Psalm 13:5-6 ESV)

The final two verses of this psalm reveal an abrupt change in the tone. Why?

The psalmist decides to try a new strategy.

He will choose to trust when it is still dark and uncertain.

This is a brave course of action.

He will choose to trust when he doesn’t see the provision. He will take the next step when he can’t see the path.

He chooses to rejoice before he receives the healing or victory.


In verse 6, he says, because God deals with him bountifully.

I am not sure where you find yourself today, but perhaps you are sitting in a time of struggle or suffering. Or maybe a loved one is. Can you take a step toward trust? Can you sing a song of rejoicing right where you are?


Lord, help me trust in your steadfast love. Fill my heart and mind with songs rejoicing in my salvation. Help me sing to you, Lord, because You have dealt bountifully with me. You will again because it is in Your nature. I will choose to count the bounty and seek to see more. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Is there someone in your life who is stuck in the waiting room? Could you reach out today to remind her that she is seen and considered?