Read Psalm 57.
Tradition tells us that Psalm 57 was penned while David was on the run. After years of friendship with King Saul and his family, after years of faithful service and loyalty, suddenly Saul has been overcome with a vengeful covetousness and has determined to kill David. Crisscrossing the wilderness and hiding in caves, David finds himself an enemy of the state; his life in danger.
I doubt any of us have found ourselves in the exact circumstances that led to the writing of this Psalm, but surely you have had the common experience of allowing your external circumstances to affect your internal sense of well-being? Leading to fear? Distress? Loneliness? Maybe a course word from a friend or family member that cut too deep? Anxiety over finances? Stress mounting due to an overextended schedule? Despair and worry due to relational conflicts?
So… What is going on in moments like these?
We are telling ourselves a story.
For example, when I worry about money I am telling myself a story about who I am and who God is. I have begun to believe something about how God created the world and my place in it. In this example, I believe that it is ultimately Money that provides and cares for my needs (not God) and that it is up to me (not God) to make sure I earn enough Money. I am living in a story where Money has taken the place of God as sovereign lord, I have taken the place of Christ and it is now up to me to achieve salvation (financial security). God takes a backseat to the entire affair.
Worrying about money can certainly feel life threatening at times, but read Psalm 57 again. David is amid a truly life threatening situation and yet the Story he clings to–the God he clings to! –is the God Most High (v.2), a God of steadfast love and faithfulness (v. 3), the exalted God above the heavens, whose glory is over all the earth (v.5). David narrates his experience as one who trusts and believes in God’s faithfulness and steadfast love no matter how difficult life has become.
Notice too, that David does not deny his current circumstances or pretend they are not difficult and painful. He is honest about his condition and candid before the Lord. When we talk about “God’s Story” being the better, truer story, it is not escapism. It is not stoicism. To borrow the words of Paul, it is “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Cor. 6:10).
And this is our invitation, Christ City Church. Like the psalmist you too have a choice.
What story will you cling to this week?
Will you believe the story being told by your present circumstances? Or, like David in Psalm 57, will you trust the Story being written by “God Most High?”
Wherever you’re at this week, whatever troubles you, be encouraged:
“God’s steadfast love is great to the heavens, His faithfulness to the clouds.”
-- Chaz Holsomback