My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing, I will sing praises, even with my soul. (Psalm 108:1)
When I was six months pregnant with my second daughter nearly 13 years ago, my husband was laid off from his job. It was a very stressful time. I was working from home as managing editor of a computer magazine, and he was home, trying to find a job. We had one office with two computers, and it was all I could do to keep up with my work while trying to be supportive of my husband.
We weren’t used to being together in the house during the day, and certainly not used to working at our respective jobs in the same small space. He was understandably angry and frustrated, and had a tendency to talk to me off and on through the day. And occasionally I had to stop and listen to his rants just so he could let off steam. I saw my role as cheerleader, and continued to give him positive reinforcement, and telling him that God had a plan.
As the days went by and I grew larger with my pregnancy, I wondered what the future held. I was worried about hospital expenses, and future expenses with a second child. I prayed daily for my husband to find a job. Although he was only out of a job for about three months, at the time, it seemed endless. I was growing weary of living around a frustrated, despondent husband, and more uncertain as my due date approached.
One day, about a week or so before my due date, my husband and I decided to go to the mall, just to get out of the house and walk around for a while. I was huge with child–my daughter ended up being nearly 10 pounds–so when we went to the mall, I did more sitting than walking. But internally, I was screaming at God. I remember exactly what I was saying to Him: “OK, God. I’m done. I’m tired of talking to you. I’m tired of being a cheerleader. I can’t do this anymore. Why aren’t you answering? Fine. Fine! We’ll handle this ourselves. I’m done praying to you.”
After about an hour or so of watching people at the mall, we came home. We didn’t have cell phones at the time, and when we arrived, we found that there was a message on our answering machine. My husband’s recruiter had left a message, saying that my husband had not one job offer, but two.
My response was instantaneous: I felt utterly foolish and repentent about how I’d spoken to God. Of course, He’d known long before that I would come to my breaking point and say such things, and He’d planned to show me that He would come through, just as He always does.
My heart is steadfast O God…
I wish I could say that’s true. My psalm would read something like… My heart is all over the map, O God. One moment, I have unwavering faith. The next, I am trembling with fear. But nevertheless, You are ever faithful to me.
King David understood what it was like to be up against the wall; to wonder if this time, God would come through. He actually wrote the words of the verse above in another Psalm as well (Psalm 57:7-11). In both cases, he was in distress. In Psalm 57, he was asking for rescue from persecutors. In Psalm 108 above, he was asking for victory in battle. It seems that the best time to declare that our heart is steadfast is when we feel it least. And the next best thing to do is sing our praises to God.
My heart is steadfast, O God…
I will remember when You blessed us even when I cursed you.
I will sing, I will sing praises, even with my soul…
for it is in my soul where You come to me, and forgive me, and call me Your beloved.