Have you ever found yourself in a situation where all seems lost? You know, when life throws you something completely unexpected and you find yourself feeling completely hopeless. We all have had days like this. We’ve all had situations arise in our lives that cause us hurt, situations that cause pain, situations that make us feel a complete since of loss. I’ve had days (sometimes it may be weeks, months, or even years) like this, you have too.
When I was in Kindergarten, my family moved from Aiken, South Carolina to Blakely, Georgia. I wasn’t really sure why, but I knew it had something to do with my grandfather’s health. My Mom’s dad (AKA Papa) was becoming increasingly ill and my Granny was soon to need assistance in caring for him. Soon after we moved, Papa had a heart attack and a stroke, which left him paralyzed on one side of his body. The tall, lanky man, who would ride me around on his back as if he were a horse and I were Roy Rodgers, now found himself stationary and confined to either a hospital bed or a wheel chair. Most of my memories of Papa have him in either his bed or chair, other than an occasional trip to his doctor, where at the conclusion of the visit, my Granny would reward me with a vanilla cone from Dairy Queen. I remember these visits, not because of the ice cream, but because the doctor would come outside and see my Papa in the car so my grandmother wouldn’t have to move him from the car to the chair and back again. Our family physician’s compassion and concern for my Granny always stuck out to me a quite chivalrous, even as a kid. As elementary school ended and middle school began, Papa’s health continued to decline and it now seemed like he spent more time in the hospital than he did his own home.
When I was in eighth grade, I remember my mom giving me a talk. The talk centered on Papa’s declining health, and I’m sure Mom gave me a “He may not be around much longer”, but I really didn’t absorb the full content of her speech. I had more pressing issues as most thirteen year olds do.
Life continued for me for a few days or weeks, but then it happened. Mr Reese Tedder, the faithful driver of Early County School Systems bus 23 dropped me off at my usual spot – the front yard of Granny’s house. Usually my Granny would greet me after a long day of school with a piece of cheese toast. It was made from commodity cheese and the toast was so hard when it came out of her toaster oven, that it would cut the roof of my mouth. But there was no cheese toast today. Instead, her small yard seemed completely full of cars. I knew in that moment what had happened. My mother’s swollen eyes and red face, as she opened Granny screen door, didn’t have to say a word.
That’s the first time my life crumbled. That’s the first time I can remember feeling overwhelmed by my circumstances and I knew I was facing a problem I couldn’t solve.
You’ve had days like this. We all have. The circumstances and the situation may be different. But the feeling is the same.
Where Do You Turn?
The question isn’t about the possibility of difficult days, scripture is clear about the certainty of difficulty in this life. The question is, when you encounter difficulty, where do you turn? Do we seek to self-medicate the problem? Do we try to fix it ourselves? Do we attempt to console ourselves with things that leave us wanting?
Read Psalm 56
Take special note of verses 3-4, 8-9.
If you take note of your chapter heading, you’ll see that this Psalm was written by David when he was taken as a prisoner by the people of Gath. This can be read in 1 Samuel 21. Take a moment and read this chapter. It’s a rather humorous story, where as David is in the midst of fleeing from Saul, he finds himself in a bit of a tight spot and ends up acting crazy in order to escape the king.
1 Samuel 21 ensures us that God provides for us in both the small (1 Sam. 21.1-6) and the big (1 Sam. 21:10-15) needs we may have. As David reflected on the events of 1 Samuel 21, he was inspired to write Psalm 56.
Remember the verses I told you to take special note of? What do these verses tell us about trusting God? Does the last line of verse 9 ring any bells? Have you seen it elsewhere in the Bible. Here’s a hint.
Read Romans 8:31
So, in short, as David reflected on 1 Samuel 21, he wrote Psalm 56. As Paul reflected on Psalm 56, he wrote Romans 8:31-39! So what do we learn from this?
God Can Be Trusted – Turn To Him
From the seemingly trivial, to the eternal, God can be trusted. He is faithful. God doesn’t know how to be unfaithful. It is not in him. If God is willing to provide David with an abundance of bread when he requests leftovers (1 Sam. 21), can He not also be trusted with the bigger needs of our lives? When life crumbles and you have no solutions? Trust God.
Read Proverbs 18:10
Take a few moments and meditate on the truth of this verse. How has this verse been proven true in you life?