I was getting into my car when the glint caught my eye: a nail, embedded in my rear tire’s sidewall. I listened for the telltale whistle of air. Thankfully, the hole was plugged—at least for the moment.
As I drove to a tire store, I wondered: How long has that nail been there? Days? Weeks? How long have I been protected from a threat I didn’t even know existed?
We can sometimes live under the illusion that we’re in control. But that nail reminded me we’re not.
But when life feels out of control and unstable, we have a God whose reliability we can trust. In Psalm 18, David praises God for watching over him (vv. 34–35). David confesses, “It is God who arms me with strength. . . . You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way” (vv. 32, 36). In this poem of praise, David celebrates God’s sustaining presence (v. 35).
I personally don’t march into combat like David; I even go out of my way not to take unnecessary risks. Still, my life is often chaotic.
But I can rest in the knowledge that, though God doesn’t promise us protection from all of life’s difficulties, He always knows where I am. He knows where I’m going and what I’ll encounter. And He’s the Lord of it all—even the “nails” of our lives.
Because of David’s success and popularity (1 Samuel 17; 18:15–16), the insanely jealous King Saul tried to kill him (18:10–11). On the run for his life, David sought refuge in the mountains and caves (22:1; 23:26; 24:2). But David was mindful that it was God who delivered, protected, and kept him safe. Out of his experience as a fugitive, David wrote Psalm 18 (which also appears in 2 Samuel 22) as a thanksgiving song, therefore the long superscription: “Of David the servant of the