“How then can you say to me:
‘Flee like a bird to your mountain...?’”
~Psalm 11:1b, c (NIV).
There are many situations in this life that require courage from us, and not the least of which when our own minds are informing us of our present panic. Whatever the stimulus is, it depends on how we manage this information, in determining our response; this is the key to both success and failure.
King David is seemingly answering his actual advisers almost rhetorically, as if to say, ‘The Lord will take care of the situation, you’ll see.’
And this is an important clue for us when we’re tempted to panic—for any reason. Standing on the hope we profess in the Lord God—the Power behind all creation—we act without seeing his saving arm. This is faith. We negate the shrieking wilderness of the mind, trying to filter logic and reason from feeling, anxiety, and a stress-led gait. Then from “behind” our situation (after it has happened) we see the trail of the Lord. His footprints were there alright!
David had advisers and so do we. Our consciences and our conscious thinking and a myriad of other faculties are operant in our heads. So full of advisers are we, we are often tempted to run, screaming from the building!
But what we all too often don’t see (well, perhaps not often enough) is that God remains where he’s always remained; everywhere. Whether life is going well or badly, he is there. He is there during your holiest thoughts and during your dirtiest thoughts; his grace forgives. He is there when we rise and when we fall into bed at night; he’s especially there when we flood our pillows with tears.
But he’s only there (for us) if we feel him there, if we expect him there, if we attribute his Presence. His Presence must be felt by us during that time of need we have. And when we have the simple knowledge that God is everywhere we can then start to believe. This “thing” called God is real!
The truth is that God has said:
“I will not in any way fail you nor give up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not, in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]
~Hebrews 13:5b (Amplified).
This above has wonderfully attended to the original Greek New Testament writing. Five separate ‘not leave you’s,’ in combination to produce six, are included to put paid to any thought that God might at some time be absent when we need him. We can know with full assurance that whilst God is there for us—and we for him as far as acknowledging his Presence in our midst—our needs of panic are superfluous.
The voices in our heads are quieted in an instant when our relationship with God is sound, when we know with no doubt that we have nothing less than God’s full Presence with us, all the time, every time.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.