“My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.“
To read today’s portion of scripture, you can purchase The One Year Bible (paid link) or find the following in your Bible:
When Zac was little, he used to love to hold on to Dave’s arm while Dave lifted him off the floor and walked him around the room. Knowing how strong Dave is, I’m sure it was harder for Zac to hold on than it was for Dave to carry him. Zac would cling with all his might and squeal as if he were dangling over a yawning cavern, and Dave was his only hope for survival.
That was great fun for Zac. But it’s not fun for us when we look down and find ourselves dangling over our own black, yawning, endless hole. It might be a change in a relationship, or a sudden financial disaster, or a diagnosis that leaves us reeling. Suddenly, the dirt beneath our feet has vanished, and along with it, our stability and our peace.
David experienced this (in this instance, I mean the king, and not my husband). When he penned these words, he was running for his life, hiding out in the wilderness from his own son, Abasalom, who was bent on killing him. It is believed he was in Ein Gedi during this period. Today, Ein Gedi is a beautiful nature reserve and a favorite destination for visitors and groups of field-tripping school children. It’s also one of my favorite places in Israel. As you walk through the foliage and look up at all the caves dotting the hillside—between which agile Ibex prance and graze—you know that at one point in time, David was in at least one of them.
He may have been in a cave when he wrote this very Psalm. If that’s the case, his back was literally against a wall. Inside was safety, for the moment, and solitude; outside was uncertainty and the possibility of death.
These are all the ingredients that generally produce panic. But we don’t find David in a state of panic—we find him in a state of prayer. We don’t see him plotting his own rescue, looking at all his options and wondering who he could muster on short notice to help him in battle. Instead, we see David look up.
It’s not hard for God to hold us; it’s hard for us to cling. Because it requires a few things:
- Belief that God is able to hold you up
- Believe that He is willing to hold you up
- A decision to cling
You can’t cling to God when your hands are full of your own tools and weapons. Those must be dropped. But the moment do that, and you trust God for deliverance instead of your own tiny strength, you’ve won your battle.