Psalm 62:1-8 (NIV)
1 Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
2 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
3 How long will you assault me?
Would all of you throw me down—
this leaning wall, this tottering fence?
4 Surely they intend to topple me
from my lofty place;
they take delight in lies.
With their mouths they bless,
but in their hearts they curse.
5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7 My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
Perhaps we can all confess this together: Sometimes life beats us down. Sometimes it seems like we just can’t catch a break. At home, there is stress within the family. Sometimes it is good stress – a wedding, a new child, a celebration. Sometimes it is difficult stress – the loss of a loved one, unkind words that may have been exchanged, and we often share the stress of other family members.
At work, we have tight deadlines, office politics, and difficult relationships with coworkers. Even within the church we sometimes experience stress.
And usually we can manage all that stress. But sometimes, it all piles up on us and leaves us feeling like we’ve been knocked down.
I think that’s what the Psalmist is describing in verses 3-4 of this Psalm. “How long will you assault me? Would all of you throw me down – this leaning wall, this tottering fence?” I know that feeling. It’s the feeling of rolling down a steep hill and absorbing the pain of every rock and branch we hit along the way.
Often, when we feel pain, we bury it. We all have things that “numb” us to pain. Food (chocolate?), TV shows, video games, internet browsing, cat videos on YouTube (it’s ok, this is a safe place, you can admit that you enjoy those cat videos). Rather than “dealing” with pain, we self-medicate. Sometimes it is even more serious. Sometimes rather than cat videos, it involves drugs, or cutting, or other dangerous activities.
That kind of pain can only be “numbed” for a little while before our self-anesthetic wears off, and we realize that our problems have grown, and our numbing techniques are not keeping up. Numbing our problems is a destructive way to deal with them.
But the Psalmist deals with pain in quite another way. Rather than finding ways to distract himself, he takes shelter within the fortress of God’s love and protection. “Truly, my soul finds rest in God.”
Couldn’t we all use rest?
Why is it that we allow ourselves to trudge through all the difficulties of life when we serve a God who has promised to provide and protect? Why is it that even though we serve the God who has made such a fantastic promise, we don’t allow Him the opportunity to fulfill that promise?
The fortress that God protects us with is the fortress of truth. When we confess our stressors to God, He is faithful to banish the lies from our lives and replace them with truths.
“Those unkind words that were pointed at you? Those were a lie. The truth is that you were created in My image. The truth is, those unkind words are a symptom of the brokenness the other person is experiencing, in spite of those words, you have the opportunity to be a conduit of light and truth.”
Why is it that we allow ourselves to trudge through all the difficulties of life when we serve a God who has promised to provide and protect? “Those deadlines at work? Maybe you’ll meet them, maybe you won’t. That’s not for you to know right now. All that you need to know is that I have a marvelous plan for you, and whatever happens to you, I will bring redemption through it. I am the redeemer. I will not let you down.”
“The stress that you’re feeling can be given to Me. My shoulders are broad, I can carry it far better than you. I know the plans that I have for you.”
We serve a God who really loves us. A God who really desires the best for us. And a God who frees us from burdens, stresses, and hardships when we let Him. So that stress you’re feeling? Tell it to Him. Tell Him, and let Him replace the lies behind that stress with His truth. God’s truth is that no stress is greater than Him, and that even out of the worst of all situations, He can be trusted to bring redemption, and that no situation or bad decision has placed you outside of a future with Him.
So take a deep breath and hold it for a moment. While your lungs are stretched; filled with air, lift all of your stresses to God. “God in Heaven, who knows all things, sees all potentials, and in whom I can trust as my rock and my fortress, you know my stresses, you know the difficulties I am facing, and you know all truth. Release me from all lies so that I may rejoice in your precious truth.”
Now exhale. Empty your lungs completely; empty yourself of all stress as you give it over to God. And fill yourself with new air. New hope. New potential. New truth.
“Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”