I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. Psalm 40:1-2 (NLT)
Where it says above “I waited patiently” the Hebrew literally says I waited waiting. The same word repeated twice – waiting and waiting. Yes, that is how I have felt, like I was waiting and waiting for the Lord. And not so patiently either.
But I am completely humbled and undone by the next amazing word. Translated here as “he turned to me,” the word is natah (נָטָה) and means to “stretch out, spread out, extend, incline, bend,” or, to “pitch a tent.”1 It is the same word as this verse, the first time it is used in the Bible:
From there he [Abram] went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD. Genesis 12:8
Think about that. As Abram stopped and spread out, pitching his tent in order to incline his ear, bend toward God, so God pitches His tent near me when I cry to Him. He spreads out and makes himself at home. Right here with me. He turns His attention to me. He hears me, He is listening. I have someone to talk to. He lifts me – I like the NLT version – out of the pit of despair. The mud and the mire have grabbed on to me and tried to suck me back in. It has stolen my shoes – my way, my walk. But He pulls me out (over and over it seems) and sets me on the firm place of the Rock.
God pitches his tent toward me. He is with me. And He is not going anywhere.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:20
Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. Psalm 73:23
1Definitions from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible and A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament by Brown–Driver–Briggs
Image by Andy Rogers https://flic.kr/p/fehFPP