“Are we there yet?”
Remember family road trips that seemed to last forever and a day? It’s probably been a number of years since you were the whiny kid in the backseat, driving your mom or dad crazy. But I imagine, given our world’s current reality, that it’s been less than five minutes since the last time you thought, How much longer???
The coronavirus has affected us all—not just physically, but emotionally and mentally as well. As weeks of social distancing turn into months with no clear end in sight, it’s easy to lose hope (or lose our minds). “Normal life” has been thrown out the window. Nothing is for certain. The future is unknown . . . and that’s unnerving. Collectively, we are depressed, lethargic, angry, impatient, uptight, and panicked.
Maybe your experience has been less like a long car ride and more akin to losing your stomach on a roller coaster. You don’t know if you can physically make it through this wild ride with its unending twists and loopty-loops.
What is our hope for coping with COVID?
Learning from a Fugitive
If you’re familiar with Israel’s history as recorded in the Old Testament, you probably know who David is. What comes to mind when you hear his name? A shepherd boy? A giant slayer? A famous king?
But did you know that he spent quite a bit of time running and hiding for his life? In his early adult years, David’s predecessor, King Saul, who also happened to be his father-in-law, obsessively hunted Him down like a fugitive. And later in life once David was king, he was forced to flee again, this time from his own son who wanted the throne. Talk about loads of stress and anxiety!
How did David cope? How did he respond to circumstances he couldn’t change or control? The book of Psalms gives us a clue.
Honestly Expressing Your Needs to Jesus
David, who was a poet, often recorded his experiences and emotions through song, and Psalm 57 is one example. He wrote it when he was hiding from King Saul in a cave. And as in many of his psalms, David doesn’t hold back from expressing his fears to God.
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts . . . They set a net for my steps . . . They dug a pit in my way. (vv. 1, 4, 6)
I love how Scripture shows us that God doesn’t mind our honesty. We can tell Him exactly what’s on our mind or how we feel without fear of Him turning away or cutting us off. Have you talked to Jesus about your fears and anxieties? Are you able to honestly express yourself to Him—even the hard, embarrassing truths?
Pause right now if you need to, and tell Him all that’s on your heart. Maybe the words will come easier by writing a poem or song, like David. Perhaps you express yourself better through art. Or a walk outdoors might be what you need to quiet your mind and open up to the Father. Simply and honestly express your needs to Jesus. The Father delights in the transparency of His daughter.
Boldly Appealing in the Name of Jesus
Sprinkled throughout David’s song are lines that are not only words of worship, they’re reminders of why we don’t need to fear in the face of uncertainty.
God will send from heaven and save me; He will put to shame him who tramples on me. God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness! Your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. (Ps. 57:3, 10)
Do you see what David is doing? When David cries out to God for help, he does so because he is confident in who God says He is and that He will not respond out of character.
David didn’t know the outcome of his distress. He didn’t know when this game of cat and mouse would end and he could return to normal life. But in the midst of all the unknowns one thing was sure: his never-changing God is faithful and loving. So David clung to that.
What if we prayed with this same boldness, knowing that it is God’s power at work which provides confidence and strength within us?
Dwell on the character of God—the things that set Him apart from us, the traits which only He perfectly and wholly exhibits. Then draw upon those truths as you boldly appeal for help in the name of Jesus. The Father delights in the courageous faith of His daughter.
Faithfully Singing to the Name of Jesus
This entire psalm we’re looking at is a song, and within its verses is a resolve to sing, even when “weary from distress” (v. 6, NLT).
I will sing and make melody! Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre. I will awake the dawn! I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. (Ps. 57: 7–9)
I don’t know about you, but when I’m stressed or discouraged, I don’t wake up in the morning with a joyful song in my heart. But that’s what David describes. He uses singing as a way to lift his spirits when he’s in the darkness. His song is an act of faith.
Remember, David was still in hiding when he wrote this song. He hadn’t been appointed king like God had promised. He didn’t know what the day would hold. But he chose in faith to sing of the faithfulness of his God. Dwelling on God’s character naturally leads to worship. And from his meditation flows the words of a humble young man praising his faithful God.
Will you choose to sing into the darkness? Your world, like David’s, may be crumbling and falling apart. But God is on the throne. Find strength in that truth. Faithfully sing to the name of Jesus. The Father delights in the praises of His daughter.
Eagerly Looking for the Power of Jesus
We’ve seen in Psalm 57 some great steps toward pressing on through this difficult and prolonged season. But as you think about how to move forward, remember that the point of looking at Psalm 57 (or any passage in the Bible) is not to draw from the good and avoid the bad. It’s to show us who Jesus is and how much He’s done for us.
Are you eagerly longing for the end to all this craziness, or are you eagerly looking for Jesus to powerfully show up in your life in the midst of it? He delights in you and is ready to comfort your heart, calm your inner storm, and carry you through the battle. We don’t have what it takes to navigate the coronas and quarantines of life. We need Jesus.