“I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry . . . You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!” (Psalm 40:1, 17)
David used an inclusion to wrap this psalm. The first and last verses are devoted to the same theme, though they observe it from opposite sides. Verse one is a testimony; verse 17 is a plea. Both regard the timing of waiting on God to act and to deliver. Verse 1 — David was patient and God listened to his prayer, answered him, and delivered him. Verse 17 — David is in trouble again, trying to be patient as he waits on God to act and deliver him.
This is descriptive of our journey with God in this world, is it not?
We live between personal testimony and potential tragedy; between answered prayer and anxious prayer; between great deliverance and growing danger; between “God, you did it!” and “God, come do it!”
“God has acted. He has saved. He has delivered. I will never be the same.”
“God, I need you! I’m in trouble! Please hurry!”
Our faith relationship to God in this world will always exist within this tension. Why am I constantly surprised that my faith continues to be stretched and exercised?