I waited patiently for the LORD; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
- Psalm 40.1, 2
But this I know for certain: that before I was abased, I was like a stone that had fallen into deep mire. And He Who is mighty came and in His mercy picked me up and indeed lifted me high to place me on top of the wall.
- Patrick, Confession, British, 5th century
Patrick’s Confession is filled with glancing references to Scripture like the one printed above. He was a man saturated with the Word of God.
But that didn’t come easily to Patrick. He first had to be abased, carried off into captivity, and made to serve as a slave. But then God lifted him, set him on the Rock of Jesus, and made his way secure. Patrick became a devout student of Scripture, and it guided his ministry for some 60 years. He was secure in the Lord and in His Word, but his way was by no means safe or easy.
Secure in Christ and strengthened by His Word, Patrick was able to endure the many hardships, trials, and disappointments that confronted him in bringing the Gospel to the Irish people. Even in his old age, officials in Britain, probably jealous at his success, were looking for some way of scandalizing him and his ministry – which occasioned his reluctantly writing down his Confession in order to defend his calling.
Patrick’s life is a pattern for us: God lifts us out of our sin and abasement; He sets on Jesus, and secures our roots in His Word; then He sends us in mission to reach and touch others with the grace of God. There will be trials and adversity along the way, but lifted, set, and secure, we can endure the hardship and know the fruit that comes when the grace of God we have come to know becomes the grace we are able to show to others.
To whom is God sending you today? Have you drunk deeply of His grace, to prepare you for the trials that lie ahead?
Psalm 40.1-3 (Dix: “For the Beauty of the Earth”)
I waited patiently for God; He inclined and heard my cry,
Lifted me up above the sod, set me on a Rock on high!
New songs in my mouth He gave; may He through me many save.
Lord, I know that, because of what You have done for me, I ought to shout aloud, giving thanks to You for Your blessings, both here and in eternity, which are so great that the human mind cannot comprehend them.
T. M. Moore, Principal
 De Paor, p. 98.