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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Jeremiah 35:12-14 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?’ declares the Lord. ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab ordered his descendants not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me.”
Psalm 78:70-72 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.
Jeremiah 23:20-22 The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.