(Today's post by James Rooks)
Psalm 56 & 57
Be gracious to me, O God, for man has trampled upon me; Fighting all day long he oppresses me. My foes have trampled upon me all day long, For they are many who fight proudly against me. When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?
Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge Until destruction passes by. I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me. He will send from heaven and save me; He reproaches him who tramples upon me. Selah. God will send forth His lovingkindness and His truth.
When I think of David, I picture a man, who despite faults and failures, was a spiritual giant. His contribution to the landscape of our Christian heritage is massive. He's one of the guys that I look forward to meeting one day. In reading through the the book of Psalm, specifically 56 and 57 for today's reading, I see a man who had major credibility. You see, David didn't just have everything in life handed to him. He wasn't the kind of guy who had everything go his way. He wasn't born with a silver spoon. He didn't get away with doing wrong. He had to wait and work hard for a long time before taking the throne as King. Think about what is going on in Psalm 56 and 57, David is either under direct attack or fleeing from a potential attack. We are seeing a cry out to God for help. David didn't write these wonderful words from the comfort of his palace or while sitting on the beach while gazing at a sunset. And now thousands of years later, believers world-wide can identify with David and rally to the Lord as we read “and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until destruction passes by.” We can read those words and say “yes, this is my story too!”.
You want to know the beauty of these Psalms? There is something about experiencing God's hand during times of stress or tragedy. We can know His comfort and love in a way that is unlike any other time. We see this play out with David in today's Psalms, and we see it in our own lives as well. While it may be hard to thank God for hard times, being able to know God this way is a tremendous blessing.
There is also something to be said about people who are strong in the faith who have battle scars. You can look at each scar, and they'll tell you a story of God's faithfulness. These are the people that I want to be with! This is the kind of man that I want to be. While it may be easier to take the path of least resistance, nothing is gained or experienced there. I read a quote about scars, and it's worth sharing here.
“Some people see scars, and it is wounding they remember. To me they are proof of the fact that there is healing.” ― Linda Hogan
I don't know who Linda Hogan is, but I believe she may be right. For every battle wound that David experienced, we have a Psalm that reminds us of God's faithfulness. In our own lives today, we see scars that are proof of our healing…the scars on the body of our Savior are a testament to God's grace to us.
Today, whether you've just come out of a battle, are heading into one, or are in the thick of one, lets challenge each other to cry out to God, just like David did. Don't lose heart or hope. God is our refuge … and with Him, there is victory.