O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! From the ends of the earth, I will cry to you for help, for my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings! (Psalm 61:1-3)
There will always be times when we feel a little overwhelmed. Following Jesus doesn’t ensure there will not be a deluge of problems on occasion that seem to almost close in on us. It could be argued that God expects us to call out when we begin to feel them closing in, but I’d like to propose that he wants our contact with him to be so deep and intimate that he can ‘hear our heart’ even before he hears our words. The heart can betray what we are feeling or sensing sometimes quicker than our words can express. I have felt overwhelming fear on occasion, unable to utter even one word, but then found God’s peace just settling in over me like a warm blanket on a chilly day. How does that happen? He heard my heart’s cry long before I was even able to acknowledge the need for his intervention. There is just something about dwelling in his presence that allows this to occur. We may not understand it fully, but we can live in it thoroughly.
When overwhelmed by life’s circumstances, we often don’t feel like we have a good vantage point from which to take in what is happening. We can feel like the weight just keeps piling on, the pressures keep escalating, and the attacks keep coming. It is as though we don’t even want to peek our heads out from under the covers because we are afraid we will be a target for some new attack. David said when he felt like that, he asked God to lead him to the towering rock of safety – his presence. We might just need to make that our cry in times of desperate struggle – that God would lead us into his presence, shutting out the noise of this world and let us rely upon him to ‘cover over us’ with his protection. David also told us this place of safety wasn’t just to be a place we frequented on occasion – it was to be our place of dwelling (living there forever).
How do we get to the place of dwelling in his presence so intimately that our heart’s cries are heard, and our protection is understood? It may not come all at once, but the more we take time with him, the more we will find his presence never leaves us nor forsakes us. We just ‘know’ he is here with us – making it all that much easier to express things to him with our heart and not just our head. Just sayin!