Sit still

“Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD” (Psalm 107:43).

I got frustrated with my son tonight. Typically, when I get frustrated with him, it’s because I’m expecting things one ought not to expect of a three year-old. Had I three year-old expectations, my frustration with him would significantly diminish. Often I don’t. So, I get frustrated.

Tonight, I was reading Jonas a story, but he was having a hard time sitting still. Jonas is a ball of energy, constantly moving, imagining, growing. But, as I waited for him to settle down so I could read to him, I grew impatient with his squirminess. If he would just listen attentively for a few moments, he’d see what a great story this is! If he wouldn’t sit still, how could he enjoy it?

Mischief.

Psalm 107 is like a series of snap shots of different people in different situations being hit over the head with life. Whether prisoners (v.10-16), desert wanderers (v.4-9), or sailors battling sudden storms (v.23-32), everyone is going about life as usual until suddenly they are jerked out of autopilot and forced to cry out to the Lord. The difficult situations in which they find themselves force them to “consider the steadfast love of the LORD” (v.43).

We all have a tendency to go through life without sitting still, without stopping to listen to the story our Lord wants to tell us. We go about our business, bouncing from task to obligation to diversion to work, not content to sit and “attend to these things” (v.43). Often, the voice of our Father reminding us to sit still comes in the form of trials that bring us to the end of ourselves so that we have to cry out to him.

And when we cry out to him, we see his steadfast love.

The last verse of this psalm says that, if we are wise, we will attend to these things. If we are wise, we will stop and consider God’s faithfulness to us, his steadfast love as he’s shown it in Christ. Wisdom teaches us to see all of life through the lens of our Father’s love and faithfulness, through the lens of the gospel. It’s a story worth sitting still for.

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