Psalms 139:5 – You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.There are times when we feel that we are blocked from all sides without freedom to move. The clock seems to be at a standstill for us. We cannot go back or sideways and the way forward is impossible. We wonder why this happens to us and often get frustrated. It is like a holy imprisonment. This experience is not like the traps of the enemy or his dark dungeons. But when we are blocked all around, the loving hand of the Lord is still upon us. He stops us from moving forward because we are not yet ready for the next step. Probably we are a bit ahead of the Lord’s plans for us. If we go ahead of the Lord, we will stumble. So the Lord blocks us all around at such moments so that we would not be temped to move backward or go sideways and take detours. His hand of love encompasses around us and teaches us the discipline of patience, peace and rest. His hand is protecting us from falling into the trap of running around or running away from His path. His hand gives us the patience to wait till He releases us and enables us to go forward. This delay is not waste of time, energy or opportunity, but a spiritually profitable time to learn from the Master. His hand upon us is the hand of concern, compassion and love. His hand of restraint is on us to mature us under His discipline. When the Lord thus holds us from moving, He expects us to surrender to Him in utter humility and brokenness as in the case of Jacob at Peniel. It is a time to submit to Him all our urges to fast track and be a go getter and high achiever. It is a time to declare our unconditional submission to be molded by the fingers which created the heavens. It is our moment of truth to learn patience in our walk with Him and be reshaped by Him according to His design for us. It is not easy to wait in utter silence with the Lord, but it is worth the time spent in these great parentheses of our lives.
Dear reader, do you feel frustrated that you are restricted on all sides of your life and that you have lost all freedom of movement? Are you getting agitated about this blockade that you are experiencing today? Are you tempted to break the Lord’s hand open to move forward? Just look around and see that the blockage has come from your Lord because He loves you intensely. His hand is keeping you tight because you are probably not ready to move forward. It is likely that your way forward is under preparation by your Lord and that He doesn’t want you to run before Him and stumble. He is teaching you patience and maturity. His lesson for you today is the art of peaceful waiting with inactivity while your soul finds quiet rest in the palm of His hand. While you are unable to move forward, you are being taught how to patiently submit your ways to the Lord. It is your time to learn to trust your Lord for your future even when nothing seems to happen. Joseph and Paul learned these lessons in life while they experienced the parentheses that the Lord allowed in their lives in the dungeons. Daniel learned it while waiting in the face of danger in a lion’s den. Nehemiah learned these truths while he waited with fasting and prayer as the Lord prepared people and circumstances to help him to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Moses had to learn the hard lessons of maturity and patience in the desert for forty long years while tending sheep. He had to learn these lessons all over again during the forty years of wilderness journey with the Israelites. Today you may be learning these lessons while on a wheelchair or hospital bed or being unemployed. It is not a time to rebel against the Lord’s hand, but to enjoy it. Today is your privilege to be in His hand and enjoy His restful molding for greater usefulness in the future.Lamentations 3:26 – It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.Thought for TodayThe mark of spiritual maturity is waiting patiently and quietly for the Lord’s time to come for us to enjoy a release from the straights where He teaches us.