"Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful..."
~ Psalm 31:23a
Sometimes the answer is the seeking. Sometimes the means is the end. Sometimes we ask for what we already have. Sometimes we need to state the obvious. Sometimes we are forgetful or neglectful or unfaithful.
I want to be understood in what I just stated. I am not trying to sound philosophical or mystical. Note carefully that I said sometimes. In this psalm (and not exclusively this psalm), David is wanting an answer/end of deliverance, refuge, rescue, salvation, redemption and grace. He is wanting to be heard and to not be put to shame.
David both makes requests for these things and then states that he has them. He asks the LORD to be his rock and fortress and then states that the LORD is his rock and fortress. He asks to be rescued and delivered and then describes how he is rescued and delivered. He asks to not be put to shame and then details how the LORD has been good and wondrous, gracious and loving. He asks to be heard and declares that he has been heard. He begins in despair and concludes in confident joyful praise.
We go to God in prayer looking for answers and I think often times the ‘going in prayer’ is the answer itself. Yes, God can and will do more; he does act, providing answers beyond the simple seeking of him in prayer. But I have often experienced that the peace I am seeking, the confidence I am lacking, the comfort I am desiring, the guidance I am needing, is found in my humble act of seeking/asking/knocking in prayer. God repeatedly calls and commands throughout Scripture to “seek him”; not just as a means to ‘get’, but as the end for what we need. Ultimately, it is the grace and blessing of God in his presence that we need, not his grace and blessing in tangible forms. We need the Giver not the gifts.
I was reminded by another this past week that my life is under control. It may not be under my control, but it is under control. Praise the LORD that he is the sovereign controller of my life. Pray for me that I will not forget, neglect nor be unfaithful to the reality of this truth in my life; that I would humbly submit in faithful obedience. As David (and later Jesus) says in verse 5, “Into your hand I commit by spirit”.