Life is fragile – and can so easily feel as if it is falling apart. A friend of mine was unexpectedly called into his boss’ office just before Christmas to be given notice of immediate redundancy. Security promptly escorted him offsite without any chance of saying goodbye to colleagues and friends. His bonus would have been awarded in just a few days time had he not ‘lost’ his job. The bank was “saving” money.
I was thinking about him this morning as I read Psalm 3. In our dark moments, we can feel overwhelmed – some to the point of suicide. At such moments, Psalm 3 is a good place to turn to. It tells of a dreadful time in King David’s life. His own son Absalom had conspired against him stealing “the hearts of the people of Israel”. 2 Samuel 15.
The Psalm is titled:“A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.” Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him”
Everyone is against him, they are casting doubt on his faith – no doubt he felt desperately alone and vulnerable, his own son was now out to kill him.
David does a remarkable thing – he chooses to turn to God. Remarkable because when we feel stressed and fearful it is so easy to lose perspective such that we can’t see the wood for the trees. David knows that God is far, far greater than any human power or circumstance.But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked.
- God protects him like a shield
- God listens to him and answers him
- God sustains him with His presence
- God saves him from his enemies.
The image of lying down to sleep because of his trust in God, despite the danger he is in, is a powerful one. The ability to sleep is a good indicator of stress, depression and exhaustion (ironically). Yet here is David sleeping soundly. It reminds us of Jesus sleeping in the boat during a fierce and life-threatening storm, such was His faith in His Father God.
When my children were worried or afraid when they went to bed, I would remind them of how great God is, there is nothing as powerful as the Creator God, and how much he loved them, there is no-one who loves them more to the extent that he sent his only Son to die for them.
Knowing both those truths, we can rest easy and not worry.
The test of how true that is, is how much we think of others rather than ourselves. And so David can finish:From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.
If you are feeling as if your life is falling apart, turn to Him. Use this psalm to meditate on, asking Him to help you trust Him completely.
May the Lord’s blessing be on you.