Stuck, Helpless & Waiting

June 01, 2021

“He lifted me up out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and the mire; He set my feet upon the rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”  Psalm 40:2

Have you ever been stuck in a helpless situation?  Like this massive ship in the Suez Canal? (Click Here)

No matter how hard you try, there’s simply nothing you can do to improve your circumstances.

At the beginning of Psalm 40, David reflects on a time when he felt like he was trapped in a pit and couldn’t get out. He was stuck and completely helpless.

There was only one thing David could do – wait. He says, “I waited patiently on the Lord…” (v. 1). The literal translation gives us a better understanding of his experience: “in waiting, I waited.”  

In other words, David didn’t just wait for a little while.  

He waited…and waited…and continued to wait for the Lord’s deliverance, but it didn’t come. At least, not right away.  

Chances are, you know what it’s like to be in David’s muddied shoes.  

It can be incredibly frustrating.  

You cry out to God for rescue and wonder why He doesn’t come to your immediate aid.  

You gradually accept the stark reality that His timing doesn’t coincide with yours.  

It’s in these moments, when it feels as if the Lord has stood us up, that we must resolve to keep trusting and cling to our faith with every fiber of our being.  

Expounding on David’s situation, one commentator writes, “God’s help comes, not too soon, less we should not know the blessedness of trusting in the dark, and not too late, less we should know the misery of trusting in vain.” 

In His perfect timing, the Lord lifted David out of the mud and mire. Once his feet stood on solid ground, David breathed a sigh of relief and belted out a song of praise (v.3,4).  

BUT WAIT – and don’t miss this – the sole reason David recalls God’s deliverance in the past  (v. 1-4) is because he faces yet another helpless situation in the present (v. 12-17). The remainder of the Psalm makes this clear.  

Bogged down and waiting for the Lord’s deliverance once again, David describes his current predicament:  

  • “troubles without number surround me” (v.12)
  • “my heart fails within me” (v.12)
  • I’m poor and needy” (v.17)
  • He cries out, “Come quickly!” and “Do not delay!” (v. 13 & 17)   

Stuck. Helpless. And waiting. Same song, second verse. 

Sound familiar?

This is our experience too, isn’t it? We get out of one pit only to find ourselves in a new one further down the road. We’ve waited on the Lord in the past only to find ourselves waiting on Him once more.

If this describes you, learn from David’s example. Remind your soul of this beautiful truth – just as He helped you in the past, He will help you all over again.   

It just might not happen according to your timing.

Written by Jonathan Munson, Executive Director, RFTH

Live it out

1. Read Psalm 40. It is a wonderful example of the way that God carries out His plans and purposes in each of our lives. He does this in His own way and in His preferred time to develop our faith in His Word and increase our trust in His never-failing goodness and grace.

2. Recall a previous instance(s) of the Lord’s faithfulness - where He delivered you out of your helpless situation. Do you remember how you responded?