Spring Soul Cleaning Day 2

The ropes of death entangled me; floods of destruction swept over me. The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in my path.

But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears.

Then the earth quaked and trembled. The foundations of the mountains shook; they quaked because of his anger. Smoke poured from his nostrils; fierce flames leaped from his mouth. Glowing coals blazed forth from him.

He opened the heavens and came down...
— Psalm 18:4-8

Do you have your coffee with you? Because as we continue in Psalm 18 today, David is at quite the place: "Death laid a trap in my path." That seems kinda terrible. Not so springy and light-hearted there, Ame. Where are we going with this? 

Friend, winter can sometimes feel that way. Weather has a way of wintering our hearts; we can feel trapped. I know I have felt stuck–both stuck inside my house and stuck inside my head. 

David, the psalmist, says he felt like death entangled him. Logical next step? Yell your head off at God. Been there.

And God heard him. 

God hears you, dear one. I know it might not feel like it, but He does. Our voice reaches up to Him and He reaches down to us.

What does it look like for God to hear us, for God to listen to our distress, our hopes, our dreams, our chatter? We see here how God moves in a mighty, powerful, grand, and even overwhelming way for David. There's angels and hail and clouds and thunder and arrows and burning coals. God is not having it with David's enemies. 

But what if God listens and does not act right away? What if He stays put? What if nothing happens as you ask God to move? 

Good questions. I don't know why God moves or stays. I don't know why He does what He does when He does it. I don't have those answers. 

But what can we know from this section of Psalm 18?

  • We know God hears us
  • We know God reaches down to us. If not in the moment, in the person of Jesus who came down to us to make a way back to God
  • We know God is angered with our enemies

We may not get God's same reactions, but we certainly have His same affections.

God hears you, like He heard David.
God loves you, like He loves David.
God has a good plan, like He did for David.
God reaches for us, like He did for David.

Friend, you may desire a display of power and defense on your behalf by God. Ask for it. Ask Him to fight for you. It never hurts to ask. I have seen Him fight for me. He is good. He is King. He has a good plan for you.

And if it doesn't look like you'd hoped, He is still good. I take great heart in how three men, about to be thrown into a pit of fire to their deaths, responded:

"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, 'O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.'” - Daniel 3:13

God is able to rescue us from all kinds of traps. But even if He does not, we will not serve other gods. We will practice believing He has a good plan when it doesn't look like what we want. We will practice remembering He hears us. We will practice thankfulness that He did reach down, live with us, take on our sin, and give us grace upon grace through His Son.

God, give us a fresh look at how you hear us. Give us new eyes to see you reaching down in all kinds of ways: through others, through peace and comfort, through community. Increase our faith in the wintered places of our souls. Help us trust You, even if you do not rescue like we wanted. We need you. Thank you for hearing us. Amen. 

Amy Seiffert