Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. (Psalm 118:5)
So many things can occur in lives and cause us distress. Whether we have issues at our assignment, family or marriage issues, money issues, legal issues or anything else, we can easily feel helpless and find ourselves at wits end.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could get advice from someone who understood what we are going through? King David, who most likely wrote this Psalm, knew firsthand what distress was. He had to run for his life at a young age, leaving behind his family and friends. He had an adulterous affair, and later had that woman’s husband killed. And sadly, there was more. As David got older, he was feeling crushed by the weight of his circumstances and sins. He could not change the past, but he could change how he handled things in the present.
The advice David offers us in this verse is what he did when things seemed their worst.
- Turn to the Lord. Call upon him. Do not try to handle your distress all on your own. Yes, reach out for help on your installation such as a chaplain or pastor, but at the same time open your heart to God.
- Pay attention to what God tells you in prayer and in Scripture. He promises to answer us when we talk to him, but we have to be willing to listen.
- David then offers this promise. Know that God will set you free from the anxiety of your distress. The circumstances of your life may not change, but you will. You will now have hope.
What is causing you distress right now? What help have you asked for? Is your distress mainly in your hands or God’s hands right now?
If you are in distress, it is time to send up a red star cluster to God. He is as close as a prayer.
Loving Father, I feel sometimes like I am going break under the heavy load I bear. Give me strength to face the day, directions to move ahead, and peace to govern my life. Amen.