When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock – Part 4
In our previous editions, we said that David used the metaphor of the rock to describe God. In Psalm 61:1-2, we find yet another characterisation of God as the rock. “Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalms 61:1-2 NKJV). The word “overwhelm” means to be buried beneath a huge mass of something. The problems of life could be overwhelming. David talked of his heart being overwhelmed for which he prayed and yearned to be led to the rock that is higher than him.
What were the threats that overwhelmed David’s heart? He may have composed this Psalm at the time of his flight from Absalom (See 2 Sam.17:21-29). The agony of being chased out from Jerusalem and the uncertainty of his future was very overwhelming for him. The thought of being debased from kingship to a fugitive must have been overwhelming for David.
At different times, David’s heart was overwhelmed by many other things. Brave as he was, he was constantly overwhelmed by the fear of death, to the point that he wished he had wings like a dove he would have flown away to find rest elsewhere. As he expressed, “My heart is severely pained within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, And horror has overwhelmed me. So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Indeed, I would wander far off, And remain in the wilderness. Selah” (Psalms 55:4-7 NKJV). He expressed the same feelings of anxiety in Psalms 18:4-6 and 27:1-3.
David was also overwhelmed by many emotional turmoils he faced from his enemies and from the hand of persecutors, who tried to entrap him. Read his lament in Psalm 142:3, “When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, Then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk they have secretly set a snare for me.” Later in the same Psalms, he cried out to God to deliver him from his persecutors, “Attend to my cry, For I am brought very low; Deliver me from my persecutors, For they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, That I may praise Your name; The righteous shall surround me, For You shall deal bountifully with me” (Psalms 142:6-7 NKJV).
Many of us are constantly overwhelmed by the pressures and stress of life. Like Paul wrote, “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you” (2 Corinthians 4:8-12 NKJV).
COVID-19 has worsened the stress many of us are passing through. On the one hand is the stress of health challenges, on the other hand, is the economic and emotional stress. There is also the problem of insecurity that pervades the nation. Like David, we need to reach out to God, the Rock that is higher than us. We can reach out to Him by faith and in prayer. Pastoracukachi@gmail. com
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