Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com
Psalm 129 (NIV)
1 “They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,” let Israel say; 2 “they have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but they have not gained the victory over me. 3 Plowmen have plowed my back and made their furrows long. 4 But the Lord is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.” 5 May all who hate Zion be turned back in shame. 6 May they be like grass on the roof, which withers before it can grow; 7 a reaper cannot fill his hands with it, nor one who gathers fill his arms. 8 May those who pass by not say to them, “The blessing of the Lord be on you; we bless you in the name of the Lord.”
Eugene Peterson puts it this way, “Perseverance is not the result of our determination, it is the result of God’s faithfulness”. (page 98) In theory, this is a little frustrating. I like being self-reliant. I like the idea that, through my own efforts, preparation and intelligence I can make it through anything. To some extent, this may be true. Yet, there are times when the world throws something our way that outstrips our ability to persevere. What do we do when self-reliance is not enough? God’s desire is that in every situation—even the ones we figure we can handle on our own—we rest in Christ’s tender care. If that is where we are to start, in God’s hands, then I invite you to pick one thing that you are struggling with today and entrust it into God’s care. Pray for guidance and wisdom, pray for patience and perseverance, and see what God does.