“From my distress I called upon the Lord. The Lord answered me and set me in a large place. The Lord is for me: I will not fear; What can man do to me?” Psalm 118:5, 6
Fearless Friday. And what did I awake to? Fear! No surprise. But the more important question is, where do I go with that fear?
David went to the Lord:
From my distress….I called upon the Lord.
What does the Lord do?
He answered me and set me in a large place.
I understand “answered me”, but what is this ‘large place?’
According to Biblical scholars (ie, those who can read Hebrew), a large place is actually a clearing, a bright spot that has been freed of foes, holes and corners (where we go with our fears) and all manner of enemies. Like a clearing in the woods, the Lord brings us to a place where we can breathe, get a fresh perspective on our surroundings and be warmed by the sun!
“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” Psalm 18:5
So in the midst of our distressing thoughts, we can be assured that the Lord answers us, and will set us in a clearing, where we can get His perspective, rather than being muddled or weighed down. And, then He reminds us–again and again, because we’re so forgetful–that He delights in us and He is FOR us. I’ve posted on this before, but it bears repeating:
“The Lord is for me: I will not fear.”
We need the reminder. And that’s what God’s Word is for (and Fearless Fridays :-)). When we’re in distress, anxious, fearful, or any number of synonyms that describe that pit we feel in our stomachs, we must turn to God’s Word.
And we need to pray, taking our fears directly to God. We’re not supposed to hide them or pretend they don’t exist. David shows us how to pray in the Psalms, where he constantly and honestly shares with the Lord his sins, weaknesses, fears and doubts.
Another example of honesty in prayer is found in Valley of Vision, a Collection of Puritan Prayers. This is my prayer today and, perhaps, could be yours:
Sovereign Commander of the universe,
I am sadly harassed by doubts, fears, unbelief, in a felt spiritual darkness,
My heart is full of evil surmisings and disquietude,
and I cannot act faith at all.
My heavenly Pilot has disappeared,
and I have lost my hold on the Rock of Ages.
I sink in deep mire beneath storms and waves,
in horror and distress unutterable.
Help me, O Lord,
to throw myself absolutely and wholly on you,
for better, for worse, without comfort, and all but hopeless.
Give me peace of soul, confidence, enlargement of mind,
morning joy that comes after night heaviness;
Water my soul richly with divine blessings;
Grant that I may welcome your humbling in private, so that I might enjoy you in public;
Give me a mountain top as high as the valley is low.
Your grace can melt the worst sinner, and I am as vile as he;
Yet you have made me a monument of mercy,
a trophy of redeeming power;
In my distress, let me not forget this.
Your never-failing providence orders every event,
sweetens every fear,
reveals evil’s presence lurking in seeming good,
brings really good out of seeming evil,
makes unsatisfactory what I set my heart upon,
to show me what a short-sighted creature I am,
and to teach me to live by faith upon your blessed self.
Out of my sorrow and night, give me the name Naphtali,
“satisfied with favour,”
help me to love you as your child,
and to walk worthy of my heavenly pedigree.
Through God’s Word and prayer, may you find that He hears, answers, delivers, and is for You! Knowing this can “sweeten every fear” and bring you out of darkness, into His clearing and marvelous, comforting Light!
And please come back every Friday when we seek God’s Word to remind us that we are to Fear Not!