What to do in scary moments – Psalm 69

I remember a very scary moment as a child. I’d walked out some distance across the wide sands towards the sea, then followed the shoreline for a while. There was a puddly stretch of sand between me and the others, who had continued in the same direction, but more inland. I decided it was not so deep, that I would paddle across it. A few steps in, and I realised I was in quick sand, already down to my knees. I must have read the right books, because I turned and flattened my whole body down across the surface of the watery sand, and by redistributing my weight, I was able to pull my legs out and crawl to safety – and then had to take the long way back round the water!

I was shaken enough from that experience – but I can’t imagine what it would be like to sink down to my neck in a mire. Yet that is where David felt himself to be in writing Psalm 69. Far beyond the point of being able to flatten and save himself, calling out to the only one who could rescue him. Almost beyond hope, overwhelmed by his enemies circling around him. Almost, but not. I love verse 13 – “…in your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation.”  God’s salvation is sure, rock solid beneath our feet.

But do you know what can undermine that? Self-pity. Feeling sorry for yourself in times of difficulty is the one thing that prevents God from helping us, because it’s a lack of trust. I’m sure David had his wobbly moments, but he knew where to run when the going got rough. V29 “I am in pain and distress; may your salvation, O God, protect me.” And that is why the Psalm has a happy ending – why David was able to praise God in and through the difficulties, and trust that a place of peace was  waiting with his name on it.

Psalm 69:1-4Psalm 69:4-15Psalm 69:15-28Psalm 69:29-36

About widemargin

Retired special needs teacher. Mother, grandmother, widowed after nearly 43 years of happy marriage. So glad I have my Lord Jesus to help me through every day. My aim is to hear what God is speaking for me, this day, this moment, through what I read in his Word, together with the experiences of everyday life. He's the best teacher!
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