Reflections from a Psalm about Fear (but not only fear . . )

[Psa 56:1-13 CSB] 1 Be gracious to me, God, for a man is trampling me; he fights and oppresses me all day long. 2 My adversaries trample me all day, for many arrogantly fight against me. 3 When I am afraid, I will trust in you. 4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? 5 They twist my words all day long; all their thoughts against me are evil. 6 They stir up strife, they lurk; they watch my steps while they wait to take my life. 7 Will they escape in spite of such sin? God, bring down the nations in wrath. 8 You yourself have recorded my wanderings. Put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? 9 Then my enemies will retreat on the day when I call. This I know: God is for me. 10 In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise, 11 in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mere humans do to me? 12 I am obligated by vows to you, God; I will make my thank offerings to you. 13 For you rescued me from death, even my feet from stumbling, to walk before God in the light of life. 

I don’t normally use my blog postings to discuss my health stuff . . .having said that . . .

For the last two days my system has been “building up” to a really nasty autoimmune flare. I’ve been dealing with this stuff long enough that I can feel when something is coming on (those of you who have arthritic ankles that ache just before it rains will understand). Here is the humbling thing for this recovering perfectionist/control/plan person — though there are things I can do to lessen the effects of the flare, to clear my schedule so that the flare doesn’t cause even more stress; I cannot control exactly when it will hit, or exactly how long it will stay. I can’t even control which systems will ultimately flare!

In crying out to the Lord ([Psa 18:6 CSB] 6 I called to the LORD in my distress, and I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.) Psalm 56 came to mind. Anyone else so incredibly grateful that Psalm 18:6 is true?!

Granted, David is not battling an autoimmune flare. He has actually people lying about him, tarnishing his reputation, hunting him down to kill him. Yet, 2 Timothy 3:16 is equally true. ALL Scripture is breathed out by God. All is profitable. . .

I stopped at David’s first request — be gracious to me, God. Oh, I so need God’s grace! I know He is Sovereign. I know He is good. I know He is always with me. . .but when the “why” questions overshadow the “why not;” when the “how long this time” and “why now” questions try to push out the truth of God’s Word, I so depend on God’s grace. He does not ridicule me because the fight is hard.

Next, David spells out exactly why he is crying to God for grace. This actually requires humility. I so want to pretend that I don’t really have these symptoms, that if I just had the willpower . . .but today my nerves in my hands and feet feel like someone is doing shock collar practice; my vision is blurred; I can’t seem to focus; and I feel like I am trying to breathe through one of those teeny red coffee stirrers. Fighting panic, and telling my systems that I really can breathe, no one is really shocking me, I can actually see, is such an effort.

When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God, whose Word I praise . . . Not ‘if’ I am afraid, but ‘when.’ God is not shocked and appalled by my battle. He actually provides a place to go, and weapons to fight. His Word, His presence. God’s care is so personal. Keeping count of my wanderings — not to hold them over my head in condemnation, but to remind me that He has been there every single time. Putting my tears in his bottle (though there are times I am convinced it’s more like the 5-gallon gas can); and then, the apex — this I know, that God is for me . . .He truly is. He is for me. I am His.

So, now what? I continue to obey my God who is for me. I am thankful for so much, including that I have His Word and His Presence so that I don’t feel that I am going through any of this in my own strength. Left to my own devices . . .no, thank you . . .and because of His care, and his answer to that Psalm 18:6 plea, I know that God has rescued me from death, he keeps my feet from stumbling (into believing lies about God and choosing to sin because what’s the point in obedience and trust?), and the hope (read surety) that I will be with God one day, no flares, no pain, no fighting to trust and obey.

And at least I can still knit. I don’t need to see well, and it helps to distract from the pain and difficulty breathing. And, there’s . . .


5 thoughts on “Reflections from a Psalm about Fear (but not only fear . . )

  1. Blessings dear one. While I can see why you don’t often share about your health struggles, I think it was a good thing. So often we don’t see how His word applies. I would not be surprised to find he uses this post mightily in many lives. In the meantime, I’ll pray. Xo

    1. The Corrie ten Boom quote comes to mind often– when God takes me on a Stony path, he provides strong shoes. His Word is such a strong shoe!

  2. Reblogged this on A Heart for God and commented:
    Here is a beautiful example of how we respond to fear and frustrations and disappointments some small some large. God is the only one who can provide our relief from these hardships. We need to run headlong into his arms, into his word, and through prayer.

  3. Thank you Bev, for sharing. I agree with Susan. How many of us are at home with our own health and medical and other challenges that are only going to get through by God and His holy word.

Leave a Reply to Susan Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.