“Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.” Psalm 32:9-10
“But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge; that I may tell of all your works.”
Our Lord wants us to stay near. He promises to instruct, to teach, to counsel. And His desire is not merely that we obey, but that we do so with joy and gladness of heart. Not forced to follow. Not fighting Him every step of the way. But drawing near in faith, trusting Him. So that even if we don’t understand why He allows certain things or leads a certain way, we still know who our God is. We understand His character, and that is enough.
Caught in the stubbornness of my heart, I insist on my own way. But when I lay myself down in humility and trust, I remember that it is good to be near God. Making the Lord God my refuge, I find myself surrounded by His steadfast love. My eyes are opened to see His goodness and light so that I can share of His works and tell of His grace.
It’s so easy to say this. To see in the quietness of a moment that it is better to trust God and draw near than to fight Him and demand that life turn out the way we want. But in the midst of situations we can’t control and times when things just don’t seem to be turning out right, all of a sudden we find ourselves fighting Him. At least I know this happens to me. Even with things I thought I’d dealt with and moved past already. Then I have to step back and work to entrust it all to God again.
I want to stay near Him. I want to trust my God wholeheartedly, knowing that His steadfast, perfect love surrounds me. I want to believe fully that “This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true” (Psalm 18:30), that “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he” (Deuteronomy 32:4). It’s just difficult for it to sink in sometimes.
But He is faithful. He is just. He is upright and there is no iniquity—no wickedness, no unrighteousness, no injustice—in Him. His Word does prove true. Every time. His promises will be kept and His every purpose fulfilled.
So what’s the key? I think it’s choosing to abide in Christ. Choosing to trust Him, even when my heart fights it. Because truth isn’t based on my feelings. Truth is based on the Word of my God. So I calm and quiet my soul. Not ignoring problems or bottling up issues, but rather releasing them to the One who understands everything—even my own heart. I fix my eyes on my Savior, staying near to Him, and know fullness of joy in His presence as He surrounds me with steadfast love.