But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me. (Ps. 22:19)
“When your mainsail tears in a storm, and your crew are all untrained, you’re left with the feeling that even your best will not be sufficient. You just hope God is sufficiently close, and sufficiently helpful,” said a seasoned sailor.
Not many of us have been in a boat when the mainsail tears. Even fewer have been in the psalmist’s situation in this passage: dogs encircling, villains surrounding, and our belongings splayed out as our enemies rummage through them. The mental image he paints is truly frightening. While the situation seems “out there,” the question behind the psalmist’s words here may be more than familiar: “Why is evil succeeding? Why—in situations beyond my control—does it seem that God waits until I am deeply suffering before he intervenes?”
If the time has not already come for you, it eventually will. One day, your life will require something of you that you’re unprepared to give. And on that day—when prayer seems unnatural—you can lift the psalmist’s words back to God: “Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me.” If the psalmist’s experience is any indicator, we can trust that God will be sufficiently close and sufficiently helpful. Even in our deepest turmoil, we can trust the nearness of the Father.
Reflect on how you might walk with others through their storms.
Ethan Linder is an editor and the pastor of Hospitality, Collegians, and Young Adults at College Wesleyan Church in Indiana, where he lives with his wife, Sarah, and their three sons.
© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.