The way I see it, there are three basic feelings in life, like three sides of a triangle. First, there is your average side, which are those normal, day-to-day feelings. Then, there is the blissful side, where the presence of God is amazingly obvious, giving you that spiritual mountain-top feeling. Finally, there is the that heavy, dark feeling. I like to call this the David-side; the raw and unabridged side of ourselves that we would never dare show anyone. It’s that overwhelming feeling of utter despair and hopelessness, where you find yourself desperately searching for God’s presence.
What is the worst feeling in the world? Have you ever experienced that feeling? For me, the worst feeling in the world is one that is not easy to satisfy: the feeling of loneliness. Why, you ask? Being alone means that there is no one there for us. It means there is no one to fall back on when we’re struggling or with whom to cry when we’re hurting. It’s the feeling of complete isolation.
David understood this feeling. As you read the Psalms, you realize that this is displayed throughout his writing. David isn’t a fake. He does not make his life out to be butterflies and roses. I’m not saying that he’s never had his good days, but on those rough days you see an authentic writer who gets down to the nitty-gritty of his utter hopelessness and dependence on God.
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth; they shall be given over to the power of the sword; they shall be a portion for jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be stopped.” ~Psalm 63 (ESV)
So why did we park on Psalm 63? David didn’t seem that desperate, did he? Well let’s look at the context. As he’s writing, David is hiding out in the wilderness from his bloodthirsty son who has taken his throne.
Wow. That’s brutal. I would say that David is feeling quite alone at this point. But how does David deal with this? Does he throw in the towel? Does he plot his revenge?
Instead, he falls to his knees and cries out in thankfulness to God. But wait, how can he do this? I mean, doesn’t he understand that his son is trying to kill him? He does, but he has come to understand a truth that many of us have such a hard time grasping.
God. Is. Enough.
For David, the knowledge of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness is enough for him. He realizes at this point that his life and struggles are not to be his focus, because God is bigger than all of that.
Come on you guys, you can’t tell me that isn’t awesome!!
How does this apply to us though? I’m sure that few of us can say that we have a bloodthirsty relative out to kill us. Our struggles may even seem insignificant when cast in this light, right? Let me show you just how real this Psalm can be for all of us.
A year and a half ago, my family moved countries. It was just us. We didn’t have the option of taking our friends and family with us, which was especially hard for a people-person like myself. Before our big move, I didn’t know what it was like to be alone. I didn’t realize just how good I had it, until I moved to the UK where I was the obvious American. I didn’t fit in. I had no friends.
I felt alone.
This loneliness ate at me. It was like a part of me had left, and it changed me. I didn’t act the same. I didn’t feel the same. I became more miserable and irritable with every passing day. I don’t know how many nights I spent on my knees crying and asking God what He was doing and why He seemed to be isolating me. I was bewildered and even angry. It was like I had no one. No friends. Just me, my family, and God.
The worst part was that I was dealing with it entirely the wrong way. Instead of running to God, like I obviously should have, I isolated myself even more. I mostly kept to myself and acted like everything was okay. I was a fake. Only when I was at home would I fall apart. This was an ongoing cycle for a few months, until I reached a turning point.
I don’t remember when or where exactly that turning point was, I just remember that my perspective changed. It was like something had finally clicked; I was slowly drifting away from God, and it was making me miserable. I didn’t even realize how much I had distanced myself from Him, and I hated it. I had basically turned my back on my best friend in the world, and I wanted that relationship back.
Once I came to this realization, it was as if everything had changed. Instead of asking God why my life seemed so messed up, I started accepting that this was His plan for my life and asking Him how He could use this to glorify Himself. I began to realize that my problems didn’t matter because God was bigger and in control of all of them. Let me tell you something: it changed me for the better.
And it can do the same for you.
It doesn’t matter what you might be facing. Whether you’ve lost a loved one, or you’re being bullied at school, or any other situation where you might feel as if you’re alone in the world, it all comes down to the same three words: God is enough.
Just think about that for a second. God. Is. Enough.
Jeremiah 31:4 says,
“I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the LORD.” (ESV)
If you’re broken or hurting beyond repair, God’s love is enough.
If you don’t have any friends or family alongside you, God’s presence is enough.
If it seems like you’re in the valley of the shadow of death, God’s steadfast faithfulness is enough.
These are the three simplest but most important words that you can ever remember, but they can be the hardest for us to accept. I challenge you to read through the Psalms on your own and remember these three simple words: God. Is. Enough.
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. ~Philippians 4:11-13 (ESV)