Facing Foes, Facing Up

O LORD, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, ‘There is no salvation for him in God.’ But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill.” Psalm 3:1-4

Any day, numerous foes confront the soul, wily tempters to discouragement, depression, doubt, and despair. Physical enemies of fatigue, stress, pain, wasting disease attack the body, while responsibilities and demands and decisions required of specific roles and job assignments tax the mind. How many are these foes! Rising, pressing, choking, taunting, they are relentless!

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But You, O LORD! Against the claim that God cannot save, He does! Amidst the agony of desperate cries, He hears! Against the pressure and cacophony of all that would destroy us, our Lord is a secure shield round about us, enveloping us and lifting our faces to behold in hope His glory!  Allelujah!

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!…In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” “Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my groaning. Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice.” Psalm 4:1,8; 5:1-3

Again and again, David the psalmist describes the agony of need, the unstinting pouring out of the heart, met by the gracious, present, personal, loving response of his God. How prone are we to be as honest, as vulnerable, as specific with our need of His help and relief? Am I more apt to confront my foes solo, to attempt to muster the strength to deal with them head-on by myself, or to cry out to my King Whose ear is open and Who has command over all resources, authority over every power? Do I rely more on grit than groan? God alone is our glory in any situation, and He lifts our heads– amazing thought. His all-powerful hand tenderly lifts my head, my face, to His, so that all I can do in my distress is look up. It is there alone I am satisfied, resolved, at peace.

“How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no, never, no, never forsake!”  ~ K. (attributed to George Keith, R. Keen) (1787)

LORD, whatever foes You assign to my days, keep me crying to and trusting in You. Lift my head above my circumstances to see Your glory, and reflect it in the here and now.

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