AN ANSWER FOR OVERWHELMING TIMES
PSALM 61:1-4 NKJ
1 Hear my cry, O God;
Attend to my prayer.
2 From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3 For You have been a shelter for me,
A strong tower from the enemy.
4 I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah
One of my favorite things about the book of Psalms is we see the expressions of David's heart.
It is too easy to look at King David and assume he handled life in a calm, cool, unruffled demeanor. Much like an ancient James Bond. Moving from catastrophe to catastrophe with complete control, and his hair not even messed up.
But the Psalms give us another picture. David won often and won big, but he still dealt with the feelings we all go through.
In our passage today, David declares that his heart is overwhelmed. Being overwhelmed internally is not a pleasant experience. It's the feeling of helplessness and despair that can take a toll on our emotional and mental health. It's the sense of being overwhelmed that drives some people into self-harm or self-medication. Anything to relieve or escape the pain.
But here is where we can learn a great lesson from David. It's not that we don't face overwhelming situations. It's what we do next.
David expresses feeling overwhelmed but then shifts to his trust and reliance on God. Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. Lead me, Oh God, to a place of strength that is beyond what I have in my own resources.
David then recounts who God is to him. This is so important. In difficult times he expresses how God has been a shelter and strong tower for him. He has declared that God is bigger than his situation.
David then expresses that he will stay with God and he will trust God. That God is his shelter. David may have felt overwhelmed, but he had an answer.
These are more than just pretty words. The psalms are expressions of trust in God and a declaration of God's bigness.
Instead of declaring repeatedly the problems that are causing us to be overwhelmed, make the David shift. Begin to declare that God is greater, and God is helping us, and God is the One that we trust.
We, like David, may feel overwhelmed at times. But we, like David, have a God who is bigger and stronger. He is a shelter for us, and we trust Him.