“I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, Lord, make me live in safety. (CSB – Read the chapter)
Think for a minute about where this journey started. David was mad. He was upset. He was offended. He was hurt. Things weren’t right in his world to the point that he was losing sleep over it. You and I have been right there with him too. We’ve felt like the world is out to get us. Or maybe it was just one person. But that one person was stealing our joy, which actually means we were giving it away to them because joy is something that can’t be taken, it can only be given. Think about all of that and read these words again. How’d he get here? How can we make sure we arrive here with him?
The short answer is that David prayed. He turned the whole situation, whatever it was, over to the Lord and left it there. It was Jesus, after all, who said that all those who are weary and burdened—and if woundedness caused by someone else isn’t a burden to bear I don’t know what it is—should come to Him and He will give them rest. Now, that’s not a promise David had available to claim, but God’s character hasn’t changed and so he went there all the same.
David prayed. But it wasn’t some kind of a neat, tidy, and sanitized prayer. He dumped the whole load of his emotions stemming from whatever the situation was right at God’s feet.
He started by praying upwardly, almost sarcastically reminding God of His beneficial activity in the past and calling Him to hear his prayer now. Then, he prayed outwardly against his enemies. Maintaining the same sarcasm, he reminded them (and himself) of the ultimately fruitlessness of their actions and of God’s protection.
Then, he turned inward and reminded himself that being angry was okay, but to reflect on it before even thinking about acting on it. He called himself to do just what he was doing: Place the whole situation in God’s hands; to get right with God and trust Him to take care of things.
With this he finally started winding things down to this point of conclusion. He’s gotten it off his chest, his trust is firmly in the Lord, and he is at last going to rest. Friends, when our world has gone topsy-turvy and rest is proving elusive, there is but one source for finding that which we seek. When we follow David’s path here, we will find it with him. That is, when we pray, we will find the hope and comfort we need. We will find the peace for which we long, the peace that allows us to rest.
But, the prayer cannot be something halfhearted and formal. Tell Him how you feel. Tell Him what’s going on in your heart. Let Him in. If you’re angry, tell Him. If you want to see the person or people who hurt you get hurt themselves, let Him know about it. Pray up, but don’t be afraid to pray out. And don’t forget to pray in. With the Scriptures as your guide, remind yourself who God is. Remind yourself what He has done for you. And as you do this, He will give you the comfort and peace you seek. He won’t necessarily make the problem go away, but with His peace as your garment, you won’t need that. You’ll have Him and that’ll be enough.