“He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters.” (Psalm 18:16)
In an attempt to explain life, we toss inaccurate phrases randomly into our conversation. “God never gives us more than we can bear,” is one such repetitive fallacy. For many of us, life dumps situations that are completely unbearable and clearly beyond our capacity to cope.
King David would concur. Throughout the Psalms, he introduces us to one overwhelming scenario after another; enemies, false friends, and hardships threaten to extinguish the breath within his lungs. We sympathize with his lament: “The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of destruction assailed me; the cords of Sheol entangled me” (Psalm 18:4). Surrounded, assaulted, entangled - David describes exactly how we feel.
Through David’s poetic songs we learn that God allows us to experience incredible difficulties to direct us to rely on his mercy. Following the psalmist’s example, we cry to the Lord for help, cognizant he is our only source of rescue.
His response is not marred by pity or a sense of duty. Rather, we celebrate in realizing he rescues us because he delights in us. The God of heaven and earth exudes great joy in reaching down and making a way for us to endure, to persevere, and to survive the struggle.
“This God – his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him” (Psalm 18:30). Father, in the middle of the mess we can celebrate your perfect ways that defy understanding. We cannot figure you out and we cannot make sense of our circumstances. But you have it covered, every incomprehensible piece of the puzzle. As your children, we will keep our gaze on you.