1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him . . . Psalm 40: 1-3
Once when I was doing some light reading, I came across a mystery that involved a diamond and some quicksand. In the story, a woman who is overcome by grief and despair dies when she steps into the quicksand and drowns.
I remember that ever since I was a kid and I watched those surreal 80’s movies (i.e. Neverending Story, Princess Bride, etc.), I had a horrible dread of falling into one or losing a beloved pet in one, so for a long time when I read this passage I focused so much on the slimy pit because for me a pit of mud was essentially the same thing as quicksand, and hence extremely scary.
Mentally, Psalm 40 was for me the psalm of the pit of mud. I didn’t really register the rest of the Psalm except vaguely. But as I began reading deeper into it, I learned that Psalm 40 is more than about mud. Yes, the pit of mud is very powerful imagery, but it is not the mud psalm at all. It is about the rescuer and also about one’s attitude when we need to be rescued.
Whoever thought that the Bible was be a handbook for survival? Yes, it is a fact that the only way you can get yourself out of quicksand is to relax and quit struggling. The Mythbusters made and episode about it and even Bear Grylls from Man vs. Wild featured it. Go ahead and lay on it, you’ll make it out safely.
It is so counter intuitive.
So in life you pray and ask for God’s guidance. You seek for hope and rescue from your situation. But it’s STILL hard to wait patiently. Your instincts tell you do something when God is essentially telling you to wait a little longer or to do something that doesn’t make sense. The word of God in Psalm 40 tells you to quit flailing and thrashing about. Trust him. His timing is perfect, and he is the one who will intervene and rescue you, place you in solid ground, and then fill your life in such a way that when you speak about him you will overflow with praises.