Hunkered Down Devotion

Psalm 142:1-6 (Voice)
1 I call out loudly to the Eternal One; I lift my voice to the Eternal begging for His favor.
2 I let everything that’s going wrong spill out of my mouth; I spell out all my troubles to Him.  3 When my spirit buckled under the burdens I bear, You knew my way.
They conspired to trip me up and trap me on the path where I was walking.
4 Take a look around and see—to the right, to the left—no one is there who cares for me.
There’s no way out of here; no one cares about the state of my soul.  
5 You are the One I called to, O Eternal One.  I said, “You’re the only safe place I know; You’re all I’ve got in this world.
6 Oh, let me know that You hear my cry because I’m languishing and desperate;  Rescue me from those who torment me because there’s no way I can stand up to them; they are much too strong for me.

As I read these words today, I felt led by the Spirit to share them and the message that they bring.  There is a thing on social media these days to preface something that you think is profound, important, or, especially, encouraging by saying: I don’t know who needs to hear this, but….. And I thought about that as I read Psalm 142 and as I was feeling a nudge to focus on these words today.  It occurred to me that while I don’t know who might especially need to hear them today, these are words that all of us need to hear.

Psalm 142 is a Psalm of David, the inscription (not included above) indicates that it was written while he was hiding in a cave.  David spent more time than anyone would like hiding in a cave, clinging onto the hope of God’s deliverance and avoiding Saul’s wrath.  

As I read these words a question occurred to me: how many of us have prayed like this?  Before we answer that question, let me first ask another: how many of us have ever felt like David in this situation?  I doubt – I hope! – that none of us have ever had to hid from someone’s murderous rage that was burning against us.  But all of us have, at one time or another, felt overwhelmed.  All of us have felt surrounded, all of us have felt trapped, threatened and helpless.  

So, I ask again, this time taking into account that all of us have had similar feelings in our lives to what David is experiencing, have we ever prayed like he does here in Psalm 142?  I know that I haven’t, and I think most of you haven’t either.  

There are many times when David provides a powerful example for us to follow, but maybe none of them would be more transformative to our everyday lives and experience of relationship with God than if we followed his model of prayer.
David feels all alone, abandoned, trapped, and helpless.  And in this situation he turns to God.  Read again what he says: 2 I let everything that’s going wrong spill out of my mouth; I spell out all my troubles to Him.  David turned to God and poured out the unvarnished truth of what he was feeling, experiencing, and worrying about and asked God for help.  

David turns to God and bares his soul the way we might to only our very best, most trusted friend.  That is exactly the kind of relationship our God wants with you.  And while even the best, oldest, most well-meaning friend will eventually fail, or not be around, or be too busy with their own mess God will never fail.  God will always be present.  God is now and will always be a ‘safe place’ for us, even and especially when no other safe places exist.  

Sharing God’s Love, 

Prayer: Lord, you are our safe hiding place.  Thank you for caring for and protecting us and for being willing to listen as we pour our all of our concerns and trouble to you.  Amen.

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