There’s a deep history in scripture. Sometimes I forget that. Sometimes reading these verses, the history falls away as I am moved by the words’ timelessness. When I opened to psalm 13, I didn’t know his anguish was sparked by an illness that threatened life.
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Psalm 13:2 (NIV)
These words spoke to a friend under trial; to another one in the midst of an ugly divorce; and to me in my own prison of thoughts. We all read these words; we related to the tiresome treading to ward off an enemy’s triumph. I didn’t see sickness or physical foes advancing upon David–at least, not until I read the study notes. With the absence of word cues like Zion or Israel, it was almost as if sitting with a friend over coffee:
“I feel like God is far” … “These thoughts keep me up at night” … “I don’t know how long I can keep this up” …
The pleading and urgency that follow:
Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. Psalm 13:3-4 (NIV)
He is facing a battlefield. But she is crying in a car; another in an empty bed; this one in quiet hours. All of us holding fast to the Only One who could ever help.
David turns his complaint to praise. When feelings and thoughts might lead astray, a warrior fights on:
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord for he has been good to me. Psalm 13:5-6 (NIV)
This warrior can do it too.
Father, when feelings and thoughts betray, thank you for your word. Trials will come, but you can be trusted. Praising you. Amen.