I have been reading through the Old Testament and was growing weary of all the bad news and blood shed and people “doing what was right in their own eyes.” I told the Lord I might need to spend some time in the New Testament for a while because living in a world and in a season where people are “doing what is right in their own eyes” and reading these news articles of riots and bloodshed, I was a bit discouraged. But I persevered and kept reading a few chapters each morning from I Samuel.
I noticed that on several different occassions, Saul was noted as having “his spear in his hand.” He was a frustrated man. He felt threatened by David. He was tormented in his mind as he walked around with his spear in his hand.
I could relate a little, as I seemed to be easily irritated and ready to use my spear on anyone who crossed me. Tensions are high—in the grocery store, on the road, in Barnes N Noble when Ruby and I ran in for a book and forgot to wear masks and got all the dirty looks.
So in my journal I had a little section of confession:
“I confess my bitterness of soul. I confess I don’t know what to do about it.
I confess my constant bubbling frustration. I confess I don’t know what to do about it.
I confess I don’t like most people these days. I confess I don’t know what to do about it.”
The next morning I woke up with Psalm 3 on my mind. I was honestly relieved and used that prompting from the Spirit to not spend more time with wicked Saul and his spear. Or atleast that is what I thought I was going to do. In actuality, God was answering my confessions of not knowing what to do with my very real frustrations.
The first section of Psalm 3 is an honest heart crying out to God.
The next section is the truth about God—He is my protector, He is enough, He is restorer, He hears me, He saves me, He blesses me, He gives me rest, He sustains me.
I was reminded that it is more than ok, even healthy and good, to cry out to God with anything on my heart AS LONG AS I SET UP AGAINST THE LAMENTING the truth about Who God is.
We find another example in Psalm 11 when David feels threatened and afraid and even asks what he is to do if the foundations are destroyed. But as we read on we see that the foundations cannot be destroyed and nothing happens outside of God’s careful watch.
G.Campbell Morgan writes about Psalm 11, “To reckon with circumstances and to leave God out of count is to omit the principal factor in any and every situation. What unutterable folly to confuse scaffolding with foundation.” And boy don’t I do that?! I look at what I see and I listen to what is in the headlines and find it tempting to think the whole world is hopeless. But that is scaffolding. The foundation of my life is built on Christ and there is always hope in Him.
Psalm 142 is another beautiful chapter subtitled “Prayer for Help in Trouble.” It coincides with the time David spent running from Saul who was constantly walking around “with a spear in his hand” and ready to take David’s life. David cries out to God in despair with the feeling that no one cares for him and that no one is going to help him escape the threats on his life. THEN, David reminds himself—he said to the Lord, “You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living.” Even after he confesses that he was overwhelmed, he also says in the same breath that God knows his path. He ends this mix of lamenting and reminding with hope—“For You will deal bountifully with me.”
G. Campbell Morgan adds his commentary to this chapter, “It is a great thing in darkest hour to set over against the darkness all the facts about God. To do so is to triumph even in sorrow.”
So maybe you find yourself a bit on edge and feeling the tensions of living in a wicked world. By all means, take notice and pour out your heart to God, but don’t stop there. Remind yourself of who God is and of His power and rule over all of it. Remind yourself of all that His Word tells us He is and let your heart take courage! He is with you and this is not our home.