>Thoughts from Psalm 18
Have you ever felt like you were drowning? Maybe you are not drowning in the waves of the sea but in shame, in fear, in worry, in regret, in depression or in over commitment?
I always prided myself in being a strong swimmer. But twice I have been reminded that the waters are more powerful and dangerous than my abilities to stay afloat. Once I was canoeing down a swift river full of rapids and my canoe capsized. I knew to keep holding on to the canoe till we got to calmer water. Yet, when I saw my shoe being carried away, I let go of the canoe to reach for my tennis shoe. Instantly I was swept away by the raging waters and lost all control. Panic gripped me every time I was pulled under and was thrown against rocks. I remembered the instructions to keep my feet first and try to stay afloat until I could grab onto something stable.
The other time was at a beach in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The tide pulled me out and my own strength could not get me back to shore. I knew beforehand the beach was dangerous yet decided to take the chance, loving the adrenaline rush. Therefore I was surprised when fear and panic swept over me as I was at the water’s mercy. Once again, I remembered the instructions to swim with the current until it eventually brings you back to shore.
Sometimes we feel as though we are drowning in the pressures of life. The worry, fear, Satan’s attacks, sickness, our inability to stay in control all threaten to pull us under. It is too much and we feel we are losing the battle, that we cannot keep our heads afloat. Then fear, helplessness and depression set in.
That is when we cry out to God for help. In Ps 18:6, David said, “In my distress I called to the Lord. I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice. My cry came before him, into his ears.”
In verse 16, David said, “He reached down on high and took hold of me. He drew me out of the deep waters.” Sometimes the deepest waters are the darkest. We cannot see an end, just an eternity of nothing.
Verse 19 says, “He brought me out into a spacious place, he rescued me because He delighted in me!” When God rescues us, He brings us into a ‘spacious’ place. We can see once again beyond the deep waters. There is light and peace and we see God’s beauty in the midst of our pain. There is calm in the turmoil and we can see both where we have come from and where we are going.
In 18:28, David says, “You, o Lord keep my lamp burning. My God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop, with my God I can scale a wall.