Life is stark raving mad.
The mortgage has to be paid. Banks are not known for extending mercy. But where can you cut back? Food? Clothing?
Your child isn’t making the milestones the maternal child health care nurse says she ought to at her age. Is there something wrong? The burden of guilt rests heavily on your shoulders, even though your head tells you that is not reasonable.
The doctor’s face is drawn, the bags under his eyes accentuated more than ever as he outlines the options for your loved one’s future. Future? What future?
The pressure at work is overwhelming. “We must increase productivity in order to remain a viable concern,” the director stated yesterday. Without more workers, how can that happen? But the business isn’t able to sustain more workers.
Okay, so you’re all grown up and you can’t stop the world and get off. You can, however, flee to the one place of refuge where the madness of this fallen world is muffled and distant. That’s what David did.
The great king David experienced highs and lows in life. Sometimes he was at fault and suffered the consequences. Yet when he penned Psalm 17, it wasn’t his fault that he was being attacked on every side by enemies, and life seemed hopeless. He, like you, could not stop the world and jump off while he caught his breath, but he could … and did … hide his soul for a time.
In the midst of a Psalm outlining his innocence and calling on God to rescue him from “those of this world whose reward is in this life” (Ps 17:14 NIV), David, the great king, the valiant warrior, snuggled … yes, metaphorically snuggled … under the wings of God. Like a frightened child snuggles into its mother’s chest and is comforted, so he snuggled into God.
“I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings….” (Ps 17:6-8 NIV)
In other parts of Scripture, we read of God carrying His people on His mighty wings like an eagle carries its young (Exodus 19:4), and of God’s powerful wings hovering and making life difficult for His young like an eagle does in order to move the baby eagles out of the nest and teach them to fly, but quickly undergirding them with His powerful wings and raising them up high (Deuteronomy 32:11). In contrast, here in Psalm 17, we read of King David snuggling up under those powerful wings.
Okay, so it probably wasn’t David’s idea originally. The king’s great-grandparents no doubt passed the concept down through the generations. David’s great-grandfather, Boaz, had said to his great-grandmother, Ruth, on the occasion of their first meeting during a mad, mad patch of life for her, “May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” (Ruth 2:12 NIV).
Is your world spinning out of control? You can’t stop the world and get off, but you can snuggle under the wings of the Almighty LORD, of He who knows all. Like a distressed child is calmed in the arms of her mother, so you can slow down, breathe deeply, confident that you are safe and secure under the wings of God Himself.
I wish at this point I could say that God will solve all your problems - that the mortgage would somehow be reduced, that your child would turn out to be gifted, that your loved one would experience supernatural healing and that your work would prosper. Maybe the mighty Eagle who is our God will intervene. Whatever happens, like King David, under the wings of God, you can be comforted and given a fresh and correct perspective on the mad world around you.
Perhaps the Lord is nudging you out of your comfort zone? Perhaps you are simply suffering the effects of the fallen, broken world in which we live? Regardless, when we are in right relationship with God, we can be still, quiet, calm, and let this mad wobble crazily while we re-centre ourselves in the LORD, the God of Israel.
Stop. Pray. Focus.
Quietness. Calm. Serenity.
Snuggle in under those powerful wings.
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