Tempted to Run—Part 1: Being Honest with God
“My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me.” (Psalm 55:4 NIV)
Even when you’re in the center of God’s will, you can still be afflicted with one of the great temptations in life, which is to run away. Every godly man, every godly woman, has at times been tempted by circumstances to just want to throw up their hands and say, “I can’t take this anymore. I’ve got to get out of here!” We don’t like to talk about it for fear that others might not consider us devoted Christians for feeling that way, but it happens.
We know this is true because some of the greatest people in the Bible wanted to run away at some point in their lives. One of them was the Psalmist David, a man after God’s own heart. He speaks of his troubled thoughts – not those of the enemy, but his own! – saying, “My heart is in anguish… the terrors of death have fallen on me… horror has overwhelmed me”! Anguish, terror, horror! It could have been when David was on the run from King Saul or when his son Absalom rebelled against him. Though we don’t know for sure, we do know that these are not the words of someone having a bad day; this is someone whose life is at stake.
What strikes us immediately when we read this part of the Psalm is that it’s coming from a person who is evidently very honest in his prayers to God. He’s not holding back anything; rather, he’s telling God everything. He’s saying, “I can’t take this, God!” The question is, are we doing the same when we’re in trouble—when perhaps we ourselves want to cut and run? We should be. If not, we may miss out on what the Psalmist says in another place: “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him from all his troubles” (Psalm 34:6).
If there is something weighing heavily on your heart today, tell it to the Lord. Chances are no one is out to kill you, as was undoubtedly the case with David, but whatever it is that is tormenting you may be just as terrifying to you. Share with the Lord your troubled thoughts, the fact that you may not be able to sleep because of what you’re facing, and how perhaps fear has taken away your peace. Sometimes we have to admit the thing to ourselves before we can even confess it to God. Do it today. He will certainly hear your cry.
To be continued …
Read Psalm 55:1-5.