You’re Never Really Alone (MJT Psalm 142-145)
A major theme I have noticed on this journey through Psalms is that you are never really alone, no matter how alone you feel.
Loneliness can be a debilitating feeling when it seems like everyone has forgotten you are alive and you are just floating in a vast sea of isolation; it is easy to drown in those motions. It’s true that no man (or woman) is an island. No, in this sea, you are more like a little boy trapped on a boat with a tiger (thanks Life Of Pi for that simile).
Fortunately, even in those moments when we feel we are about to be devoured by the ravenous tiger, we are not as alone as we may feel. This is the moment when calling out to God feels so pointless, but it is when we need to the most because he knows the way back to shore even when it seems impossible (and he can protect us while we journey there).
If you have known me for any length of time you would know that I’m a slow processor of information. This is off-putting to a lot of people because I don’t always respond right away in conversation–or worse, I do and whatever I say makes sense in my head, but requires my conversation partner to clarify what they meant. My delayed processing sometimes makes conversations with me kind of difficult and people will often misjudge my silence for arrogance, shyness or stupidity…when often I wish people would just give me a moment. But we live in a fast-paced world and so I live a lot of my life in my own head. Because of this, I have a hard time letting people in when they do stick it out to be my friend. This leads to a lot of self-propagated isolation on a fairly regular basis. That tiger and I have been stranded on that boat more than once and finding my way back to shore can be exhausting.
But there’s something really cool about what happens when I let God roam in my head space with me. I have to make a concentrated effort to do this; it doesn’t come naturally to me. When I actually let down my guard and let Him tame the tiger instead of always trying to do it myself, He gives me a much-needed perspective shift that changes everything! Suddenly the water surrounding me is beautiful and life-giving and not a treacherous trap. It becomes a place to explore and the adventure becomes a learning opportunity. The tiger even turns into a companion–sometimes a kitten–to offer comfort and not a threat to my existence. I’m no longer a trapped little child, but a grown person ready for battle–whatever that battle might be.
After David was anointed as future king, he went from fighting animals twice his size to battling men who towered over him (quite literally). He was just a boy when he defeated a giant and was then placed in command of an army of 1000 men, most of whom were likely older than he. Somehow he was to lead them into battle with bigger, more experienced Philistines, and what’s worse, his own King sent him out hoping he would die in battle. David had no experience and no support from those who were supposed to be his allies. But he didn’t need it! God had prepared him for the battles ahead because David let God be in control and at the center of everything he did.
And we can be the same. Because no matter what life throws at us, God is in control and He sets us free from whatever imprisons us, whether it is bitterness, shame, insecurity, hatred, lies…anything. Like David, I can Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. (Psalm `143:8)
And so can you.