I Hate Tight Places!

I hate tight places.

I am one of those quirky people, who when riding in the middle of the back seat of a vehicle, has to – usually in a state of close panic – ask the driver to stop!  Once the vehicle has desisted in its movement, I am scrambling to get out the door, all because…

I hate tight places.

This is also one of the main reasons I will do many things and come up with all types of excuses to not be the person leading horses into a horse trailer.  I love horses, but when we are put together into a small compartment, it is not a good combination!  The more the horses, the greater my sense of panic, and all because…

I hate tight places.

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Wide, open spaces are my preference!

In Psalm 40, we read of a time when David found himself in circumstances that mimicked a pit…a pit that he could not climb out of because it was a slimy pit…a pit containing muck and mire, so to find a firm place to stand was near impossible.

How did he handle this situation?

He called out to the Lord…

And waited patiently for Him.

When I am in a tight situation where I cannot get out of, to wait patiently for the Lord to act can be difficult to do.  I reason that surely there must be some way to get free!  Yet as I struggle to get my feet free from the clay that holds them fast…as I try to climb the walls that are covered in slimy mud…

I discover that I can’t get free.

I cannot find a way out.

I am trapped.

And when I find myself seemingly stuck in trials in which there is no way out, I find myself wondering how did David – when the pressure was great and he was trapped – wait patiently?  Calmly?  Hopefully?

As I scoured through the Bible, searching for the answer, I discovered a gem of truth…

For me, one of the keys to waiting patiently…calmly…hopefully…in a tight situation has been in learning to rest close to the heart of God, under the shelter of His wings.  Because I am a child of God, I don’t face these tight places alone.

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I face them with:

  • His strength (Philippians 4:13)
  • His peace (Philippians 4:6, 7)
  • His promises (2. Peter 1:3, 4)
  • His provisions (Philippians 4:19)
  • His presence (Hebrews 13:5, 6)

And as I do so, I have learned the secret of a contented, peaceful heart that waits with confidence and hope. img_0025

For when I am under a burden of great pressure, facing tight, painful circumstances from which I cannot get free, God surrounds me with His love and expands the borders of my soul.

The inside is bigger than the outside.

In God my soul has space…rest…freedom…peace…quiet waters…green pastures…

Even though my outward circumstances are the opposite.

Tight…cramped…uncomfortable…crushing.

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In God is peace that surpasses understanding, even when there is a battle raging around me.  In God, there is a cool place of rest, even when I find myself in the midst of scorching flames.  In God, there is quiet refreshment for my soul, when I find myself hungering and thirsting in a dry and barren wilderness.  In God, there is a firm place for my feet to stand, even when the ground is quaking.  In God, there is light even when the darkness of the unknown and the darkness of pain enshrouds me.

I can’t help but wonder if this is why David, after he called for help, could say, “I waited patiently for the Lord.”

It wasn’t that he was ignoring the circumstances that he found himself in or that he never struggled with troubles.  He had many, but he knew that he was not facing them alone.  He was assured of God’s presence, provisions, promises, peace and strength.

Armed with this knowledge, he called out to God to bring him out of the pit, and then…

Waited patiently.

He could do this because his trust was not placed in himself…his strength…his wisdom…his efforts…or those of other people.

His trust was in God.  He knew that God had heard his cry and that God had a plan.

I cannot confess that I face every trial and tight circumstance with calm assurance and hope, but God has taught me and continues to teach me, that when I hide under the shelter of His wings and rest near His heart surrounded by His love…

I can wait patiently…confidently…hopefully.

With Him all things are possible…

Even for me…

The girl who hates tight places!

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I waited patiently for the Lord;

He turned 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.

Blessed is the one who

Trusts in the Lord.

Psalm 40:1 – 4a

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