Read Psalm 55:1-8. 1Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy! 2Attend to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and I moan, 3because of the noise of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked. For they drop trouble upon me, and in anger they bear a grudge against me. 4My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me. 5Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me. 6And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; 7yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; 8I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest.”
It would be wrong for anyone to hide themselves from their neighbor’s cry for mercy, but it would be especially wrong for God. The Psalmist can’t decide if he wants to complain to God or fly away like a bird and hide. Maybe, like Elijah, he’ll do both.
Do you tend to run from trouble? Would you rather wander far away into the wilderness than face your fears? Do you run away to numbing or stoicism? Do you flee to apathy or laziness? Do you pray for wings to fly away? Anywhere but here, Jesus. Anywhere but here.
For David, running away would mean giving up the throne and the covenant. For Jesus, running away would mean giving up on you and me. It would mean dropping the cross and forsaking his mission to seek and save the lost. For the Christian running away means relinquishing trust in our union with Christ. It means seeking shelter in something other than his covenant love for us. But every shelter other than Christ is simply gaining the world but losing the soul. Why? Because none of those other shelters we love will ever love us back.
To live is Christ is to be restless without running. Terrified yet trusting. Worshipful not wandering.
Prayer. Jesus, I don’t need wings to fly away, I need the power of your love to shelter me so I can stand against the fiery darts of the Enemy. Help me to stand in faith today. Amen.
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