Thoughts for the Day

Tuesday, 24th January 2023: Pray and wait patiently

Pilgrim Patience Pilgrim's Progress Psalm 40 God Help

Reading : Verses from Psalm 40


I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the desolate pit,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.

Happy are those who make
the Lord their trust,
who do not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after false gods.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


I have produced the play of Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress' three times now, with dozens of local christians taking part, and each time I have come to appreciate Bunyan's work more and more. He gives us wonderful characters that we can recognise even today, figures like Timorous, Mistrust, and Goodwill. Their names give away their character immediately. The story (in case you don't know it) is that of a man called Christian, from the time he hears the words of the Evangelist in the City of Destruction until he reaches the Celestial City. From the moment Evangelist awakes him to his peril he is determined to set out on the journey, despite the burden of sin on his back. His neighbour Pliable joins him, but within a few yards of their village they encounter the Slough of Despond. Bunyan calls it a "bog", and Pliable "bedaubed with dirt" immediately turns back to the City of Destruction. Christian is pulled out of the bog by Help and continues his journey.

Psalm 40 gives us the same picture, Bunyan obviously taking his words "the miry bog" from here. When the psalmist (probably King David) is in danger he too calls to be rescued. In real life, when we have a problem we need to call on God. Then we need to have patience that He has the solution, which may come in the shape of a friend or neighbour, and finally, as well as thanking them, we need to remember to thank God!


Heavenly Father,
You know our wants and our needs.
Help us to see that these two things may be different,
and that Your solution may also be different to ours.
May we learn to ask for Your help
before trying to solve the problem alone,
then wait patiently for Your involvement,
in whatever way it comes,
and finally thank You for Your loving goodness.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to look up this old style cartoon video of Bunyan's story:

Or this modern cartoon-film version:

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