The frantically busy road forces you down the underpass to cross under. It’s dark, dank and chilly, and you can hear your heels echoing around the hard walls of the passageway. Out of the shadows a rough-looking guy – no, two, emerge, poising themselves threateningly in your path…This is not where you want to be. Alone, frightened, vulnerable.
David was somewhere like that when he wrote Psalm 43. Living in a place surrounded by enemies, under constant threat, he felt abandoned and rejected by man and God, and a very long way from the presence of God.
In that moment, he prayed for light and truth to guide him back to God. At the time David could not know that God would bring it round, that he would become king, bring in a golden age, father many children and die peacefully in his own bed ‘old and full of years.’. God honoured that prayer, but David could not know that then, in that dark time.
Nevertheless, David chose to believe it, and put his trust in God. Again, as in the previous psalm, he challenged himself to put away fear and hope in God. A good choice. For otherwise, the fear itself would have defeated him: the enemies redundant, their work accomplished for them.
When we find ourselves out of our depth, in a place we don’t feel we belong, however difficult the situation, we need to repeat to ourselves that same challenge: Why am I fretting? God can handle this. I’m going to praise him anyway, whatever happens.
It’s OK. God can handle it.