Take this past week for example: I didn't anticipate this week to hold so many things (especially because my sisters all left for camp), but my days filled with preparations for my trip to New York. Ordering things. Shopping. Filling out forms. And (of course) watching New York movies! (Breakfast at Tiffany's anyone?) I visited with friends, went to ballet, prepared blog posts for six weeks (the posts are ready and very exciting and new!), and went to the chiropractor (I injured my back at church camp and it never got better. Prayers appreciated).
With all of these activities going on and worries in the back of my head, I felt like life slipped through my fingers and left my with an empty shell. I sat down on my bed Wednesday night (late, as always), finally setting aside time to read God's Word, feeling tired and fearsome. I feared not getting everything done. I feared not liking New York. I feared homesickness. I feared injury. I feared the mess of a life that I got myself into, where I didn't even read God's Word until after midnight! These burdens weighed upon me as I read Psalm 3, but then something happened.
But God happened.
I started reading Psalm 3 weighed down from the idea that I missed out on life because I couldn't do it, but I finished reading Psalm 3 with tears of joy streaming down my face (I always cry more past midnight). The worries of this week threatened to overcome me, but God reminded me right then that He had overcome the world!
So let's discover the wonders of Psalm 3.
Before we read this Psalm, though, let me give you some context. David (the author of this psalm) too felt the weight of the world on his shoulders, but he feared not a sore back or a stressed week but for his life. And worse yet, he feared that his son (who turned against David) will kill him.
And David had a right to fear.
So he fled from his son and gathered up those still loyal to him to prepare for what comes next, and everyone knew that it won't look pretty. But sometime in this turmoil and doubt David sat down and wrote these words:
1 Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
2 Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him."
3 But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
4 I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
6 I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.
7 Arise, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
8 From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.
Let's break it down right now. The first two verses grabbed me, because I felt the same way, although my "foes" didn't wear armor or carry a sword. They just prodded into my thoughts and led me into worry. They surrounded me and tried to suck the life out of me, convinced that God wasn't enough. For these fears that I gave into convinced me (whether I realized it or not) that God wasn't enough.
But God is my shield and He is enough!
Verse three. Oh, verse three. Here we find that God isn't scared of the world. He doesn't change with the world. He is constant, and even more inconceivable (and yes, I do know what that word means) He protects us. He comes to us and gives us hope. He lifts our heads up so that we can see Him, and when we look upon Him, then the foes in this world fade away. For who can come against the LORD?
David proclaims God as his shield and glory, putting his eyes on God, and then he takes it a step further: he depends upon God. Belief always leads to action, and so David, once he put his eyes on God put his trust in God. He called out for help, because he realized that he couldn't do this life by himself.
And, inconceivably enough (yes, I keep using that word), God answers. He calls down from heaven to answer David, just like He answers you and I. This doesn't mean that He answers the way that we want Him to answer, but it does mean that God answers! He is dependable, not only in idea but in action.
No, correction, David rested. David rested in God's protection and answer. He trusted that, even though his son marched out to kill him, God would be enough. And then he fell asleep. He fell asleep in the midst of a fast-forward-life kind of day. He fell asleep even though he could have stayed awake in fear of the thousands that came out to take his life. Verse six doesn't talk lightheartedly of tens of thousands on every side, for David did face a big problem.
But David trusted a bigger God.
David trusted God to deliver him. He knew that God could overcome any situation, and that even if things didn't turn out like David anticipated, that God was still God and still protected those He loved.
And how did that trust play out? What happened to David?
God protected. God provided. It wasn't perfect or pretty, but God shielded David and continued to use David for His kingdom. David's trust didn't go to waste. Our trust in God never goes to waste.
So, the challenge presented in Psalm 3 goes as follows: do we trust that God is bigger than the foes that we face, and even more than trust, will we rest in the sufficiency of God's protection even when worry bangs on our minds to come in? Do we depend upon the Creator to sustain us? Do we call out in faith to the LORD who had never yet failed?
Let me tell you, when you do this, rest will come. The morning will follow, and then you can live. You can then live in God's glory and within the embrace of His arms. You can stay sure behind his shield of protection. You do not need to fear. The LORD is here. And "[f]rom the LORD comes deliverance." (Verse 8)
"I tell you this, so that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
-Jesus recorded in John 16:33
My friends, these verses stilled my busy heart this week, and I pray that they bring truth into your life as well! I love how God spoke to me that night and told me exactly what I needed to hear, although I don't know why I'm surprised at that! Let's live. Let's live in this crazy world that moves too fast. Let's live in Jesus, who has given us life. Let's live in the But God moments that free us from ourselves.
For the world threatens to overcome us.
But God overcomers all.
(p.s. I fly out to New York Sunday, and so I won't be as active in the blogging world until August. I will keep y'all updated as much as possible!)