They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay. - Psalm 18:18
The word "stay," in its noun form, is not one we use frequently. When we think of "stay," our minds envision the command we give to our dogs when we want them to remain where they are, and in a sense, that well indicates the definition of this word "stay." It bears the meaning of solidity, sustenance and stability. Its most basic definition is "a support," but if we study it out, it goes far beyond that. It's like an anchor, a rock and strength all rolled into one.
As our stay, God keeps us from being swept up by every passing whim and from being overwhelmed by the enemy. He helps us to stand firm, to be strong and unwavering. His unending support keeps us moving forward when we long to quit. His sustenance provides for us when it's all we can do just to get up in the morning. His stability keeps us from falling when we grow weak or weary. No matter what befalls us, He is our stay.
I can't help but think of the lyrics to the old hymn,
The Solid Rock
. "When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay." Have you ever taken the time to ponder that line? What an awesome proclamation! When everything else fails, God won't. When everything seems to be falling apart, we can rest in God's sure grip. When all seems hopeless, God is our hope and stay. I don't know about you, but that gives me a good case of glory bumps!
The theme for the upcoming ladies' retreat in the UK at which I'm scheduled to speak is "Stand fast, me hearties," based on Philippians 4:1. To stand fast, according to the online dictionary means "to firmly remain in the same position or keep the same opinion." How is that possible? We're swayed by every passing fancy. Our sinful flesh is drawn this way and that. Our moods swing wildly like monkeys in the treetop. So, is God giving us an impossible command? If we're acting in our own strength, then yes, the direction is impossible to follow. However, if we, like David, cling to the power of God as our stay, we can stand fast against any enemy or any storm that comes our way. Shiver me timbers!