“Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.” Psalm 61:1–4
There’s nothing like being prepared for a crises to limit the impact of that event. That’s why schools and other public buildings have fire and tornado drills and have emergency equipment installed like fire alarms, extinguishers, emergency lighting, first aid kits, and defibrillators. We hope we’ll never need them but we know that we can better face our need prepared that not.
In Psalm sixty-one David is crying out to God and seeking him as a shelter from his enemies but it doesn’t appear that any enemies were attacking at the time when David wrote this psalm. Verse two contained the lines that drew my thoughts to this possibility. These words tell us what David will do when trouble comes and his heart is overwhelmed. They’re not written in the context of a response to a current situation but instead they’re written in anticipation of an unknown crisis and are part of David’s preparation for that event.
David wrote this psalm because even though there might not have been any hardship to face at the moment experience had taught him that at any moment his life could take a turn or crest a hill and he would find himself facing a disaster that could destroy everything.
But just as surely as David knew that troubles will come he also knew that God was always there to call on in the midst of every trial, and he knew that God was bigger than any threat and strong enough to handle any situation. God had been his salvation time and time again and David was preparing his heart to respond to any future crises by turning to God in faith.
What do we do during the peaceful times to prepare our hearts for the next crises? Some people take CPR and first aid classes. I’ve done this from time to time and it does give me some measure of confidence to know that I’m not wholly unprepared. But this isn’t the preparation David was focusing on in Psalm 61. David was preparing his heart by giving it the direction it needed so that he would remember who to turn to when the trouble came.
“You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.”
God is always there for you. He’s the rock you can stand on above the swirling flood. He’s the bulwark between you and the attacker. He’s the comfort from the fears that would overwhelm. What ever you need you can turn to him. He can help you and he’ll always be there.