“But You, O Lord, are a shield around me; You are my glory, the One who holds my head high. I cried out to the Lord, and He answered me from His holy mountain.” – Psalm 3:3-4 (NLT)
So picture this: You’ve been on the run for the longest time from a king who is bent on killing you for no reason. After years of living the life of an exile, you finally take your seat as king like the Lord promised long ago. Then suddenly, your own son steals the throne from under your nose, and you are once again on the run and in exile. This is what was going on in the life of King David when he wrote the words to this Psalm.
He starts it off by saying, “O Lord, I have so many enemies; so many are against me. So many are saying, ‘God will never rescue him.'” (Psalm 3:1-2). Can you imagine? You finally receive what the Lord had promised you, only to have it stripped from your hands all over again. And this time, even some of the people of Israel were against him.
We all go through our times of stress and overwhelming circumstances, but I don’t think that any of us have experienced the crushing and pressing that David went through. And despite all of that, what does he do? Yes, he starts off with what could be seen as a complaint, but it is a petition to the Lord. He goes from this very short petition straight into reminding himself of who God is, and what God has done and is continuing to do in his life.
“But you, O Lord, are a shield around me.” David knew that his protection was in God alone. He trusted God to guide and direct him in the midst of what was happening. He felt the stress and the anxiety, but he remembered the peace that God gives to His people in the midst of turmoil.
“I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side.” – Psalm 3:5-6
David understood a concept of the Kingdom that the disciples took forever to grasp. It is the concept of sleeping in the storm. Jesus did it. He was asleep on the boat in the middle of a raging storm that had the disciples freaking out! David understood that all he had to do was take shelter under the wing of the Most High God, trusting that He would see him through. How often is our reaction like that of the disciples, rather than like David’s? Instead of recognizing Who is in control and trust Him, we give in to our worries and anxieties.
I understand that it can be really hard sometimes to shift our gaze to the One who controls it all, but we have not endured through anything like what David went through in his life. And he, in the midst of these impossible circumstances, shifted his gaze towards Heaven and began to remind his heart and soul Who is control, and Who it is that protects him.
What circumstances are you dealing with that are holding your gaze rather than your gaze being shifted towards the King of Heaven? What storms are raging in your life that have you terrified out of your mind, but the Lord is calling you to rest in peace in the midst of them? What things do you need to eliminate in order to shift your perspective, and seek and praise the Lord rather than remaining planted and rooted in worry and doubt?