Crying For Help – Reflection on Psalm 61

Psalm 61

Where Can We Go?

Life gets bogged down. We take two steps forward, but because of unforeseen challenges, we take six steps back. Frustration ensues as our problems loom large and solutions are no where in sight. We become so fixated on our problems that we can no longer see past them. We believe we are trapped with no way out. Getting caught in details and missing the big picture is easy. Sometimes a higher perspective helps us get out of the weeds of our problems.

We look around for someone, anyone, who will provide hope or direction. Many will offer answers, but, in the end, we find ourselves in the same place over and over again. Their answers seem promising, but let us down. No wonder we end up losing hope.

The psalmist’s heart is faint so he cries out to God. We don’t know the reason and we really don’t need to know the reason. We’ve been there. Disappointments, disillusionments, and questions of being can capture us and leave us groping for hope and help.

The psalmist asks God to lead him. “Lead me to a rock that is higher than I am,” he cries. Sometimes we need a higher perspective. We want to be lifted above the momentary problems and issues and see the big picture. We tend to get lost in the weeds. When all we can see are problems, we become skewed. We lose our sense of purpose, we become blinded to blessings.

The psalmist knows God as a refuge. He knows that God’s presence is a strong tower. He finds protection in God’s presence. We can too. Our problems melt away when we center ourselves in God.

Centering

Life attempts to pull us off-center. We go in one direction and then another. We become fragmented without a center. Perhaps centerlessness is the virus of our age. We are a center-less people looking for something to anchor us in the storm. Yet, we continue to get tossed to and fro.

There are times when, in the middle of the storm, we look up to God. We make promises. Boy, do we make promises. I’ve made promises as well. I begin with “God, if you get me out of this…” or “God, if I get through this…” and end with some promise to do better. The funny thing is, there are times that while the words are coming out of my mouth, I already know I won’t be able to fulfill the vow I just made!

The psalmist doesn’t plan on making empty promises to God. His plan is to pay his vows everyday. He knows God has rescued him and his gratitude leads to action and transformation. He makes good on his vows because he knows God as his anchor and center.

Finding Our Center

The psalmist reminds me that God hears our prayers. When we are overwhelmed and the storms are raging around us, he takes us to safety. He lifts us up and places our feet on solid ground. Why would I make promises I don’t plan on keeping? God leads me to places of blessing. Why would I not follow him? Why play games when he offers me so much?

Giving our heart to Jesus requires more than mental assent. When Jesus called someone, he called them to follow him. When we do, we find a center for our lives. As we center ourselves in Jesus, allowing him to guide and direct us, we discover not only an anchor in the times of trial, but also a way forward. As we abandon ourselves to him and his directives, we find God’s protection and unfailing love. We find our center and shelter in him.

When you find your heart overwhelmed, may you also find he is a prayer away. As you turn your heart to Jesus, may you discover God as a refuge and rock of safety. May his love rescue you.

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