‘Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret’ Psalm 37.7
If only it were this easy! The contrast between waiting patiently and fretting can be very marked in our lives. Most of us would probably say we are quite patient - until something comes along that causes us to fret!
This psalm is quite honest in outlining the reasons for this. Although we can be fairly calm within ourselves, worry and anxiety so easily rise up within us when we look at the activity of others - particularly if they are doing harm or behaving dishonestly.
The means of avoiding anxiety is two-fold, and the psalmist’s first recommendation is to simply stop doing it – ‘do not fret’! This may seem simplistic, but it does raise the possibility that we do not have to give in to worry; just because we are aware of something troublesome does not mean that we have to fret about it.
The second piece of advice given in the psalm is that we should delight ourselves in the Lord (verse 4); or in other words, revel in the knowledge that we are dearly loved children of God. Taking delight in Father God should be our focus, rather than fretting over circumstances beyond our control. Recognising and holding on to this inner peace is a far healthier alternative than allowing the actions of others to overwhelm us.
Right now take a moment to come back to the wonder of God’s delight in you and make that your focus for the day.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission