“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”
This Psalm has always been one of my favorites. Whenever I read it, I can’t help but hear the U2 song “40” in my mind. My parents have always loved U2 and I can remember being a little girl watching the “Live at Red Rocks” U2 concert on VHS. Whenever the song “40” came on, I loved singing along!
This passage of scripture brings hope to those who are in the pit of destruction and those who are in the miry clay. We’ve all been there, when times are really tough and we feel that we have fallen to the bottom of the pit with no way out. It feels hopeless and we feel helpless. Emotions can take over and we can be overtaken by the fog of the pit and the muck of the miry clay. Fortunately, the Lord is always with us, and even in the depths of pain and trials, He is there. These are truths to hold tight to when we are in the pit of destruction, because without truth, there is no hope!
Let’s first discuss the word “miry”. We don’t hear that word used regularly now a days. By definition, the word “miry” means swampy and slimy. Eww! What a vivid picture though of how we feel when we are stuck in a swampy, slimy pit where we are covered with mud and filth! I can definitely relate. Can you? You feel powerless, debilitated, and forlorn. In these times, we have to cry out for help to get out of the pit and out of the clay, we can not do it on our own without the Lord. Psalm 40 says that “I waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined and heard my cry”. We need to cry out to God in our times of being stuck in the slimy pit.
Continuously cry out to Him.
Patiently wait for Him to respond.
Trust in Him to bring about deliverance.
Being in the pit of destruction and stuck in miry clay are the times that challenge our faith and cause us to look deep inside ourself. What we find when we look deep inside ourself may be inner ugliness that needs to be addressed. I truly believe the Lord uses these times to bring to light the things that He wants to restore and heal. “The Lord is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness” (Psalm 145:8) I love that this scripture speaks about the lovingkindness of our God. Soaking in that truth, and reflecting that the Lord of all creation is full of lovingkindness toward us is amazing! He is gracious and merciful. He is a loving God.
With that being said, some may ask, so why are we in the pit of destruction?
Why am I stuck in the miry clay?
The answer isn’t easy, and I am wrestling with it myself, since I am currently experiencing a time in the miry clay. But what I do know, is that God can bring about good from any situation. The low points in life that we go through, when looking back, really can be used to strengthen our faith and reliance upon God.
He is the one who fulfills our needs.
He is the one who brings us security.
He is the one who brings deliverance.
He is the one in whom we can trust.
Even in our deep distress, like what King David was experiencing, God can bring about deliverance and rescue us from our inmost pain and circumstances. It is incredibly comforting to know that God delivered David from his distress, from his deepest pain that was unbearable. The pit really does feel hopeless at times, and it seems as though things will never change. But, as the passage goes on, we read that God brought David out of the pit AND set his feet upon the rock. When we are in a slimy, muddy pit, we are unstable, slipping and sliding around, unsure of what will happen. When the Lord places our feet upon a rock we are on a firm foundation, a place of assurance and safety. Our footsteps are made firm by the Lord and we are no longer in the muddy, miry, swampy place.
“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2
King David is praising God for bringing about deliverance, and he says that God has put a new song in his mouth, “a song of praise to our God.” Through this deliverance and through the thankfulness of David’s psalm, “Many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord.” After being rescued, delivered, restored, and refreshed by the Lord, many will put their trust in the Lord! Our lives are to be a witness to the Lord’s great love and to the work that He does in each of our lives.
With this perspective, I have been reflecting on my own personal circumstance and my prayer is that many will see what mighty thing the Lord will do for us, and that His name will be glorified through this swampy, muddy pit experience. I am waiting patiently for Him, and will continue to cry out to Him. He will put a new song in my mouth and I will continually praise Him.