“Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison that I may praise your name.” (Psalms 142:6-7 NIV)
A selection from my journal:
9/25 “Another horrible work day. It’s not the work. It’s the stress. It builds till I think I’m going to explode. My mind goes wild with lies until I want to curl up into a ball. Seeing death as the only way out of the situation circulates between the lies. My heart races. My head throbs. I want to escape so desperately that I consider dying? That’s crazy. In you (God), there has got to be a way out, through, or over. There really is no way out in the natural…When I curl into a ball and say death is the only way out, it’s because there are no other avenues (of escape) in the natural. I’m trapped!”
Trapped. “A position or situation from which it is difficult or impossible to escape.”
Haven’t we all been in situations or circumstances from which we, on our own, cannot extricate ourselves? Some are of our own making. Some just happen. Life. No matter how hard we try, push, kick, shove, plead, beg, search for exits, cover the pain with our own personal pacifiers, or pray, the situation lingers and we are compelled to stay put. We can’t force our way out or stamp our feet and demand it. We can’t make ourselves feel better. We can’t bob our heads like Jeannie or twinkle our noses like Samantha to change our circumstances. Our relations, friends, and co-workers can’t fix the situation for us.
That boxed in feeling comes in different shapes and sizes – caring for an elderly loved one with dementia, working a demanding job while taking care of a sick husband and challenging adult children, caught in the pension-401K transition or the economic downturn with no visible way to recoup, poverty, addictions, and even success.
Surprisingly, the Bible is filled with people who were, in one form or another, trapped, hemmed in by circumstances. It was a revelation to me when my sister pointed that fact out. A “duh” moment.
David knew. He cried out from a barren cave near Adullam where he was hiding, “Set me free from my prison…” As the anointed king, he must have wondered at the irony of living in a desolate place instead of a palace. The man who penned beautiful Psalm 23, “make me lie down in green pastures, lead me beside the still, refreshing waters” was stuck in a cave with no lush greenery to soothe his soul or water to quench his thirst.
Like David, my journal for the last year or so is filled with entries crying for help. Get me out of this. I can’t take anymore. Make it stop. Unlike David, I didn’t move forward. I stopped at me, myself, and I. I don’t disavow the emotions. They were real and they were raw. I just wish I could have said with David, “Set me free from my prison that…” What? “…I might praise your name.”
Ouch. Ugh. Yikes. Oh my.
That I may praise your name. Even lost in a dark, distant, desolate place, God knows right where we are. He worked on David’s behalf and he is working on ours.
Father! Be with us in those dark hemmed in places. Let the Daystar pierce the darkness with hope. Amen. It shall be so.