When you are young, waiting seems like the worst part about any day. Waiting for lunch, waiting for naptime to be over, waiting for dad to come back from work. Waiting has never seemed to be fun.
This was my experience in Tomah, WI.
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.
Psalm 40:1-3 makes it seem so easy – waiting for the Lord to act, but most times, especially in Tomah, WI, waiting is horribly difficult and uncomfortable. On the way to Summer Training Project 2017, a few guys and I were driving through the middle-of-nowhere Wisconsin when my car started jolting side to side as if one of the tires was busted. After a few choice words with Gideon Burnham, the driver, we finally pulled off to the right side of the road to see what was wrong with my car. The good ol’ Camry seemed fine. I then went and looked under the rear bumper to see a rod broken on the axle. That is when the fun started.
For the sake of your time, I’ll skip the really fun stuff and get to the “mud and mire” that Psalm 40 talks about. Greg from AAA towed us five miles down the road to a small town called Tomah and after hours of calling, we figured out that we were going to be stuck there for 18 hours.
Blessed is the one
who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.[b]
Many, Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.
In this instance, I didn’t feel very blessed. I was in a place that barely had any cell service – God forbid – and I was frustrated that the whole situation was out of my control. In no way was I in awe of how marvelous God’s plan was for me at the moment.
Since then, we made it safely to Project and are now in the swing of things. As I reflect on Psalm 40 and how it relates to my adventure in Tomah, WI, I see what the Lord was doing.
Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.[e]
I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.”
I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, Lord,
as you know.
The Lord was breaking down my heart. He was preparing me to be molded and sculpted. It sounds extreme, but I believe that God planned out my car to break down before I was born so that I would be forced to see more of Him in tiny Tomah. How often do I close my eyes to what God is doing? How often do I blame the hard things in life on everyone around me?
But as for me, I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
you are my God, do not delay.
The Lord is my deliverer, but I often treat Him as one who simply wants to tell me “I told you so.” While we are here, the students (and myself) are put into situations where they are unconformable. Many times, these situations feel like a pit, but maybe God is trying to help us proclaim about his saving acts wherever we are.
Continue to pray that the Lord will teach our hearts to say, “The Lord is GREAT” (Psalm 40:16).