The cords of death encompassed me;
the torrents of destruction assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me;
the snares of death confronted me.
We’ve all been here before. The point of utter chaos. The moment our world seems to fall apart all around us. For many, this isn’t a one time occurrence. Some of us have frequented this place. Regardless, it’s never easy. If anything, it gets harder with each turn of the wheel.
I remember what it was like for myself – not my favorite memory, mind you. But it’s a period of my life that I wouldn’t change. I remember feeling heavy and worn. It was one thing after another. School, friends, family. When one part of my life seemed like it was back on track, the others would fall through. Eventually this juggling act came to a halt as I dropped all the pieces. My knees buckled under the weight of it all. My back gave out from the pressures facing me on every side. My shoulders slumped in disappointment and agony over what remained after the storm. My heart…my heart was a mess. Disfigured and dysfunctional. Not knowing when to extend an embrace and when to take extra measures to guard itself.
In these moments, it’s easy to question God. It’s easy to lash out at Him and be angry with Him. It’s easy to let our hearts succumb to cynicism, bitterness, and resentment of others’ joys. These are, in fact, all normal responses to facing struggles in this life. Normal responses, yes. But not desired responses.
In the verse above, David describes his hopeless condition. He thought he was doomed to death. He was utterly helpless. But what was his response?
In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
At his lowest of lows, when his life was crashing down all around him, when death was knocking on his door, David chose to call upon the Lord. He chose to pray to God, to petition Him. David chose to be real with God about his fears and current condition. He chose to have faith that the Lord was bigger than all his problems. He chose to trust that God was more powerful than the forces of death that surrounded him. Rather than choosing to gripe and be angry with God, rather than questioning the Lord’s will and Providence, David took the road less traveled. He accepted his situation for what it was and then attacked it with full force using his greatest weapon: the Almighty God of the Universe.
What FAITH! What courage and wisdom in the face of trials! David didn’t let his situation affect his decision-making abilities. He didn’t let the worries and fears related to his struggles overwhelm him or even enter his thoughts. What a great example of faith in times of hardship! Let’s take a look at the second half of v.6:
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
Um. Did y’all catch that? I’m hoping the bolded words helped spark those brain cells! The Lord God of Israel, Jehovah Jireh, the Creator of the Universe HEARD David’s cry. Y’all that’s some crazy powerful stuff! Really let those words hit you – keep reading them until they slam right into your face. God Almighty heard this lowly human’s cry for help. That’s what David was – a lowly human. He may have been a King, he may have conquered many foes, he may have had all the respect and honor a person could ever want in this life – but he was just a lowly human. He was one of us. He was a sinner – a murderer and an adulterer. He was a simple man going through some really tough stuff. And God heard him. If God heard the cry of this man, He most certainly hears our cries as well.
“Yeah, yeah. So God heard David’s cry. So what?”
Here’s what (click here for more verses):
…he rescued me, because he delighted in me.
Okay, seriously. MIND BLOWN. All over again! Not only did the Almighty God hear the cry of a simple man, but He answered this man’s prayer. God, in all His glory, rescued David.
But why? Why would the Creator of the Universe, the Owner of all we see before us and all that we can’t even begin to imagine, rescue some random human on this earth? Get ready for your brain to explode all over again: The Lord rescued David because He delighted in him. It’s okay if your jaw dropped right there. That’s the expected reaction. But in case your brain and jaw are still intact:
According to Merriam-Webster,
de·light·ed: highly pleased
God rescued David because He was highly pleased with him. I know I’ve been using a bunch of different “terms” for God in this post, but it’s because I’m trying to convey how crazy and amazing and mind-blowingly awesome this whole thing is! The RULER of the UNIVERSE was highly pleased with this human – a human who was not free of sin or guilt. But somehow, this human did something that pleased the Almighty.
David’s heart for God, his sincerity and love for the Lord, his decision to seek God during his times of utter hopelessness and agony, pleased the Lord.
For those of you going through those stormy patches of life: know that the Lord is with you. He knows every tear. He knows every heartache. He knows every struggle – be it marital, financial, interpersonal, educational, professional, whatever it may be. He knows what you’re going through. He hears you and He is right there with you. You just have to reach out and take a hold of His hand – accept that you need His help, that you want His help. Trust that He will work all things together for your absolute best (Romans 8:28)!
David cried out to God in the midst of all his struggles. He accepted his situation and called upon the Lord for deliverance. May the prayer of our hearts be to lean upon the Lord and to look to Him always. May we have faith like David and may our actions please the Lord.
Remember beloved, the Lord delights in you. It has nothing to do with what you have accomplished in this life. It has nothing to do with where you are spiritually. It has everything to do with the fact that you are HIS. And He delights in the works of His hands.
When the world has fallen out from under me
I’ll be found in You, still standing
Every fear and accusation under my feet
When time and space are through
I’ll be found in you