He reached down from on high and took hold of me. Psalm 18:16
In a recent post, blogger Bonnie Gray recounted the moment when overwhelming sadness began to creep into her heart. “Out of the blue,” she stated, “during the happiest chapter in my life, . . . I suddenly started experiencing panic attacks and depression.” Gray tried to find different ways to address her pain, but she soon realized that she wasn’t strong enough to handle it alone. “I hadn’t wanted anyone to question my faith, so I kept quiet and prayed that my depression would go away. But God wants to heal us, not shame us or make us hide from our pain.” Gray found healing in the solace of His presence; He was her anchor amid the waves that threatened to overwhelm her.
When we’re in a low place and filled with despair, God is there and will sustain us too. In Psalm 18, David praised God for delivering him from the low place he was in after nearly being defeated by his enemies. He proclaimed, “[God] reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters” (v. 16). Even in moments when despair seems to consume us like crashing waves in an ocean, God loves us so much that He’ll reach out to us and help us, bringing us into a “spacious place” of peace and security (v. 19). Let’s look to Him as our refuge when we feel overwhelmed by the challenges of life.
When have you felt overwhelmed by trials? How did God sustain you?
Heavenly Father, there are times when my burdens become too much to carry. Thank You for continuously reaching out to me, sustaining me, and granting me Your peace, strength, and wisdom.
For further study, read When the Going Gets Tough: Finding Hope and Joy in Our Trials.
Because of David’s success and popularity (1 Samuel 17; 18:15–16), the jealous King Saul tried to kill him (18:10–11). On the run for his life, David sought refuge in mountains and caves (22:1; 23:26; 24:3). But David was mindful that it was God who delivered, protected, and kept him safe. Out of his experience as a fugitive, he wrote Psalm 18 as a thanksgiving song, as noted in the superscription: “Of David the servant of the Lord. He sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.” This song is also found in 2 Samuel 22. David used various metaphors to describe who God was to him: a rock, fortress, deliverer, refuge, shield, horn of salvation, stronghold, and savior (Psalm 18:2–3)—all pictures of protection, security, deliverance, and safety.