Daily D – Psalm 55:6-7
Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness. PSALM 55:6-7 (NLT)
I love Southwest Airlines’ Wanna Get Away advertising campaign. They are no doubt preparing a special ad for the days when this country returns to full productivity. So far this year, trips to Italy, Detroit, Vancouver, London, and Israel have been canceled or delayed indefinitely.
Many people like to run away from their troubles. The problem of living in a season of pandemic is there is no place to run, nor can we fly. In the last few days, I have thought about some places I would like to go for respite. A novel I read a couple of weeks ago talked about Coronado Island and the Hotel del Coronado. The beach behind the hotel is holy ground for a couple of special reasons. That would be a nice place to spend a few days wandering and wondering.
A novelist who lives near Park City, Utah tweeted a photo of what might have been the last big snowfall for the season. That is a beautiful place to spend a few days. We received a note from friends on Vancouver Island a couple of days ago. Kayaking around the island and dining on fresh salmon sounds good. One of my screensavers is a photo from a retreat center in Washington State we visit a couple of times a year. Walking those trails and climbing those hills would be a nice break.
Scotland and Hawaii charm and delight in their own special ways. Mackinac Island in Michigan is unburdened by automobile traffic. The rocky beaches, the shops, and the miles of biking and hiking are alternately invigorating and restful.
We may wanna get away, but right now we make do with memories and plans.
King David was in a tight spot. It was not his first. It may have been the first time he wanted to get away. He unsnarled a lion. He beat back a bear. He beheaded a giant. He outwitted a murderous father-in-law and king. He strategically retreated from his son’s betrayal. Now, however, when he was not as fleet, not as strong, not as capable — vulnerable — he wanted to get away but he could not. When you cannot fight and you cannot run away, what do you do? You go to God.
David started by saying, “Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help. Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by all my troubles,” (vv. 1, 2).
Even the most courageous are at risk to overwhelming circumstances. David preferred the wilderness days of running from Saul to the challenges before him at the moment. Yet when he experienced his greatest vulnerability, when he could neither fight nor flee, he knew right where to go. He went to God.
But I will call on God,
And the LORD will rescue me.
Morning, noon, and night
I cry out in my distress,
And the LORD hears my voice.
(vv. 16, 17)
We cannot run away or fly away from COVID-19. We can get to know God, experience him fully, and gain a new perspective on life. Listen to David again:
Give your burdens to the LORD,
And he will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
Wanna get away? I know right where to go.
I will go to God.
Our Father, thank you that there is nowhere we can go where you are not (Ps. 139). Thank you that wherever we are, you are with us (Ps. 23). Finding you here is better by far than going anywhere without you. In this vulnerable season, strengthen us. In this time of disruption, reorient us. In this season of homebound days without end, give us rest. Amen.
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.