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Strengthened in the Shaking

Ever felt like everything in your world was shaking? Like it was all about to come crashing down? The struggles seem never ending and the challenges are fierce. Nothing looks like you thought it would, life has knocked the wind out of you and you’re not sure if you will ever catch your breath.

We can find ourselves in a whirlwind of doubts, insecurity and pain. Surrounded by people who love us yet convinced that we are all alone, abandoned and forgotten. Our world shakes and God seems silent.

David, in the Bible, felt this shaking shortly after he was anointed as king of Israel. He knew his destiny was greatness, but he was struggling with the challenges that came before his kingship. It’s believed that during this time he penned Psalm 13. In the pain between the promise and the fulfillment, in a season of great challenge and suffering he poured his heart out to God.

I read this Psalm during my own season of shaking and I fell in love with David’s raw emotions and the journey that he went on in 6 short verses from pain to praise, from despair to delight, from feeling abandoned to feeling affirmed.

Here is David’s journey in the season of shaking: 1 I’m hurting, Lord—will you forget me forever?

How much longer, Lord?

Will you look the other way when I’m in need?

2 How much longer must I cling to this constant grief?

I’ve endured this shaking of my soul.

So how much longer will my enemy have the upper hand?

It’s been long enough!

3 Take a good look at me, God, and answer me!

Breathe your life into my spirit.

Bring light to my eyes in this pitch-black darknessor I will sleep the sleep of death.

4 Don’t let my enemy proclaim, “I’ve prevailed over him.”

For all my adversaries will celebrate when I fall.

5 Lord, I have always trusted in your kindness, so answer me.I will yet celebrate with passion and joy when your salvation lifts me up.

6 I will sing my song of joy to you, the Most High,

for in all of this you have strengthened my soul.

My enemies say that I have no Savior,

but I know that I have one in you!

His pain sounds so familiar to me, and maybe you can see yourself in his painful cry to God?Psalm 13 (TPT)

Can you see yourself in David’s pain, can you hear your own cries in this Psalm?

“God, I’m hurting – where are you?” “How much longer God?” “Okay God, it’s been long enough in the darkness, enough is enough” “Answer me God!” Pain can be all consuming – when you have pain somewhere in your body are you thinking about all the parts of your body that are not in pain? No! You focus on the part that’s painful. We do the same thing in life. We put so much focus on the pain that we are experiencing that we can fail to see everything that is going right in our lives. We focus on all the things God isn’t doing for us and we can fail to see what He is doing. Pain is impatient and screams for action, it demands resolve – but what if there was strength to be found in the shaking, in the pain? What if the very challenge we are desperate to resolve is the very thing that is building strength in us that will be vital for our promise? David was going to need to the strength that came from learning to trust God in the shaking when he would become king. In the shaking he was going to learn to rely on God and not on himself.

{There is strength to be found in the shaking}

This shaking, regardless of what is causing it, is a shaking of the soul. It’s a shaking of self that strips away everything that is going to hinder us from God taking us where He has called us. It’s a shaking of self-motivations, self-timing, self-doubts, self-desires, self-focus and self-promotion.

It’s the shaking of the soul, when endured, that results in the strengthening of our spirit.

Have you ever felt pain so intense that it takes your breath away? Have you faced a challenge that caught you completely off guard and you feel suffocated by the darkness? {In our breathlessness – God breathes life}

{In our darkness – God shines light} It’s in the middle of this Psalm when David prays for God’s breath and light that everything begins to shift. Our internal shaking shifts from pain to praise when we invite God’s breath and light in. Distress gives way to delight, darkness gives way to a bright future and anxiety gives way to peace. We can trust God in the shaking, just like David, when the pain is overwhelming and challenges seem endless, we need to remind ourselves of the kindness of God. We have a Saviour who holds us in our pain, strengthens us in our weakness and lifts us out of our hopelessness. {We are not victims we are victors} In the shaking we need to remind the enemy that he has already lost. In the tension of the battle don’t let the enemy proclaim defeat over you! We maintain a spirit of victory even in the most intense battle, in the most extreme shaking, when we keep our eyes fixed on our Saviour. David says “I will YET celebrate…” In our season of shaking we need to re-calibrate and choose to celebrate the kindness and the goodness of God. When we cultivate a spirit of celebration in times of great chaos, we are strengthening our souls in His salvation. It’s His salvation that lifts us from despair and draws us into a life of delight. It’s then that we can say, like David, “…for in all this youhave strengthened my soul”. In our suffering, in our darkness, in our anxiety, in our fear and our doubts we are strengthened by Him! {Take heart - In all of this God is strengthening your soul}


Elise Heerde is a wife, mother, teacher and writer from Melbourne who loves Jesus and passionately shares about the grace, hope and love that He offers to all. She deeply desires to see the broken made whole, the captives set free and the lost brought home. You can find her instagram account here @her.anchor

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