Overwhelmed, Below and Above

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. I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me… God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness! My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts- the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords… They set a net for my steps; my soul was bowed down. They dug a pit in my way.” Psalm 57:1-4,6

Look around, look down: darkness, pressing fear, storms of doubt, immovable dread, pressures and responsibilities, impossibilities, criticism. The world’s frantic urgency and caustic ways can overwhelm us into despair when we get stuck here below. But turn the eye upward, the mind to the High and Holy One, and all changes.

“My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody! Awake, my glory! ..I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.” Psalm 57:7-10

We find the secure place, the refuge from harsh winds, under His wings. When circling enemies roar and taunt and swipe with sharp claw, we are enveloped by the closer shield of God’s steadfast love. The bowed soul awakens with joyful song, heaviness turns to light glad melody, wailing and pleading to songs of praise.


We are created with senses, emotions, intuition, the ability to absorb what takes place around us and react. In this life we are bombarded with hundreds of stimuli, outward and inward, physical and emotional, cognitive and relational. There are myriads of choices for products we purchase, constant messages about what we should have done or do or have, a daily barrage of expectations for performance and appearance. Living and investing our lives here we can get tangled in it all, weighed and bowed down. But, always there can be the turning of our faces ahead, outward, upward.

But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.” Psalm 59:16-17

David wrote these psalms when being pursued for his life, though God had promised him a kingdom. He had to rely on Who he knew God to be, and the irrefutable power of His word to come to pass. His purpose was fixed in God’s eternal plan and would not be swayed off-course by enemies here below. Do I believe God’s unfailing love and vow to fulfill His purpose for me? Can I sincerely sing this same song?

Lord, take my darting eyes and fix them on You. Overwhelm all that overwhelms me, and overwhelm me with You. In the harsh noise and grind of this life, may I make joyful, thankful, melody to You Who are worthy of praise.

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