What do you do when the odds are stacked against you? How do you react? Where do you turn? We’ve all had experiences whether at work, with our families, our health, and even our finances where sometimes the outcome just doesn’t look too good! King David found himself in this situation as he fled from his own son, Absalom. He was surrounded by thousands who were seeking to kill him. He was not sitting on his throne with the comforts once available to him, instead, he was running for his life!
David did not react by cowering in fear and blaming God for his predicament, instead, he expressed confidence in God by praying. He not only said a prayer, but he believed that God had heard him, he believed that God would answer him, and he was able to lay down and sleep peacefully, resting in the faith that God was protecting him and he would be delivered. It’s not easy to sleep during a crisis, so for David to say he could lay down and close his eyes to sleep showed absolute assurance! Let’s read his prayer:
Psalm 3:1 Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. 2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. 3 But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. 4 I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. 5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. 6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. 7 Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God.
I don’t know about you, but I long for this kind of peaceful rest, especially when the odds are stacked agains me! There are many nights my mind is clouded with the frustrating events of the day, concern for my children and their futures, financial decisions, getting caught up with work, and I’m usually aggravated at this point because I’m still not asleep! David has shown us a supreme example of the true peace and rest our faith in God can bring. Even facing ten thousand foes, he asked God to deliver him, bless his people, and he lay down to sleep knowing the Lord would sustain him!
Have you trusted in the Lord? Can you look back on your life and see where you have been sustained by an almighty God? I can honestly say I have seen the hand of God on lay life. While there are many times things did not work out the way I had expected, I have learned that my expectations do not compare with a sovereign, omniscient, and omnipotent God. His outcomes have always prepared me for the next chapter in my life, and because of the faithfulness I see in the past, I am able to look forward with even greater assurance that God will deliver me again when I call. My faith in Him has been strengthened. Unfavorable odds are no reason to doubt, they are only a reason to ponder just how big and awesome our God really is!
“I pray, “Lord forgive me when I doubt. You are my shelter, refuge and strength. You have shown the greatest love when you sent Your Son Jesus to take my place on a cross I deserved. How can I not praise You and believe in You… Where else could I turn, to whom else could I pray? Thank You Father for hearing my cry. Deliver me this day from the enemy who seeks to harm me. Guide my steps and strengthen me, In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.”
Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.