There are basically two responses to life - facing it head on, or ducking for cover - although there could be different versions of both, it basically boils down to head on or turning tail. The first requires some element of determination, faith, and commitment. The latter simply requires a spirit of complacency, an overly sensitive emotional response to fear, and a whole lot of discouragement. David was in a real "pickle" when he pens these words - perhaps like some form of "pickle" a couple of us might feel we are in right now, or will inevitably face from time to time in life. Friends had turned their backs, enemies were all around, and everything he had counted on seemed to be failing - except God (remember that one, will you). So, in the midst of this, he turns to the one he knows will never fail.
Take a good look at me, God, my God; I want to look life in the eye, so no enemy can get the best of me or laugh when I fall on my face. I've thrown myself headlong into your arms—I'm celebrating your rescue. I'm singing at the top of my lungs, I'm so full of answered prayers. (Psalm 13:3-6)
When we look deeper at what he says in the midst of his disappointment, we find that he is not going to 'give into' the doubts that come - doubts like God has turned his back on him in the midst of his circumstances. He is not going to give into the disbelief that his friends have all scattered like the wind - because he still has his most important one - God. He is not going to succumb to the "woe is me" emotional roller-coaster of missed opportunities, delayed answers, disappointing outcomes, and inadequate responses - because he has learned to trust. Instead, he faces God - asking God to keep his face turned toward him so that God can take a good look into his life. He invites God to search him - to uncover anything that is not honoring to him. Why? Simply because he does not want his enemies to have even one thing that they can boast about - one thing David can look back upon and wonder if he had done something different at that moment, perhaps things would have turned out better. He wants his reputation to be pure. He wants his testimony to be strong. This purity and strength is proven (tempered) in the presence of a holy God - so he runs headlong to God, asking God to expose his character to all who would look upon him.
He can do this because he knows God has been working in him to form the quality of character that stands up under the pressure of life's negative stuff. It is not easy, but it is true - we can stand strong in the midst of life's "junky" moments. If we faithfully come to God with our responses, desires, fears, unbelief, etc. - he takes each open exchange of our time together and begins to use those times to mold us into the image of his Son. The goal is to have a strong reputation - not because it is a bragging point, but because it is evidence of the grace and love of God in his life. For us, it is to be a man or woman of God that our enemy cannot speak a negative or accusing word about. The enemy of our souls is the accuser of our souls - he looks for opportunity after opportunity to accuse us - relentless in his pursuit. Why? Because those accusations eat away at us - they allow doubt to enter in, they invade the personal peace of our soul and the space of our minds which should be reserved for meditation upon God's Word and enjoyment of his revelation. God invites us into his arms - enjoying the intimacy of those moments - in order to build us up where we have been torn down by life.
We are invited into his arms today and every day of our lives. There, he delights in creating a freshness of spirit, a renewal of joy, and a treasure-load of hope - because of his grace. In those moments of intimate sharing, our character is being transformed - our reputation is being "re-written" so that the world sees only Christ in us. The hope of glory! We might want to turn tail and run, but when we learn to stand in the midst of fear, trusting in the one who holds us closer than imaginable, we learn to look beyond the enemy's frightful taunts and pursuing tenacity. We see instead the glory of God revealed in us. Just sayin!