“Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.”
To rejoice and be glad all our days…it sounds impossible, doesn’t it? Perhaps idealistic and naïve? In light of days when we walk through discouragement, confusion, or pain. When we face an unknown future.
But the first line is our context. Because it brings our focus not to our circumstances, and not to the possibilities of what might happen in the future or the discouragement of what has happened in our past. Our focus is drawn to the steadfast love of our God. Right here. Right now. In this present moment, because our God is present with us.
Our God doesn’t want us to live caught up in what might happen, consumed by attempts to anticipate and prepare for every contingency. Or trapped in the past, filled with guilt or shame or a sense that nothing can change the pattern we see from our previous steps. No, He desires abundant life for us. Now. For us to live wholeheartedly in the moment, experiencing His presence and love and joy and peace filling us now.
This is the basis of that gladness the psalmist is praying for. This is why he asks for satisfaction each morning in the steadfast love of God – so we will see it. So we will see His hand at work. His blessings for us right in this moment, because He is here. And light surrounds Him. Dispelling darkness, even if it’s just stars in a night that seems to hover over us. Our God of light is not absent. He draws near. And that is where our trust is found.
I have been reading through E. M. Bounds’ books on prayer. In one of them, he focuses on trust and frames it within the present moment: “Trust is not a belief that God can bless or that He will bless, but that He does bless, here and now.”
I tend to try to figure things out ahead of time. To stay a few steps ahead, analyzing and preparing in an effort to use time well and not waste it or mess things up because I neglected something. But while preparation is good, I’ve realized I do this more out of fear than wisdom. And this fear prevents me from enjoying the now. It prevents me from really living, and from really trusting.
I’m wondering if perhaps a better way of viewing it is not seeking to use my days well, but rather to live my days well. There is still an element of intentionality and preparation, but within the mindset that this moment, this day, is to be lived out and embraced as it is.
Beginning with the focus that I am loved steadfastly by the God of heaven, who hears and sees and guides me, and who wants me to live abundantly right now, in whatever this day holds. He has written this day. Therefore it matters. And He doesn’t want me to miss out on what He has for me here.
I recognize that because this world is broken and touched by sin, this day might hold unspeakable pain…but my God is still present here. He is still loving me steadfastly. He is still faithful and good, and He draws beautifully and powerfully near to us.
A focus on living abundantly in the presence of God now can open our eyes to see more clearly His hand in our lives. In the small things. To recognize that in our interactions and circumstances and the moments of our days, He has purposes to spur us to growth, to shape our character, to strengthen us, to display His love in sweet blessings.
This morning, may God open our eyes to what we need to see. Of Him. Of our focus. Of our ability to live life abundantly right here, in this moment, because we are satisfied each morning with the steadfastness of His love and the constancy of His presence in each moment of our lives. In Revelation 3:9, Jesus makes a declaration that He will bring our enemies before us to bow at our feet, “and they will learn that I have loved you.” They will see – we all will see – that in each moment, our Lord has loved us. Never wavering. Never acting from a place of indifference or unawareness, because His love is steadfast and intentional.
So even as we wait, or as we struggle with prayers that were not answered as we hoped, or as we walk through circumstances far from what we would have chosen, may we draw near to God for a refocusing to the present moment. A refocusing to Him in this present moment, as He loves us and guards our every step with faithfulness.