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Briefing: Have you heard the one about the man who drown waiting for God to rescue him?

Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 42.

On the Street: A man was in his home listening to the weather man reporting that the flood waters were rising. Evacuation orders had been issued by the Mayor and law enforcement officers were going door to door telling people they needed to get to higher ground. The man decided to stay, citing his belief that God would save him. The water started coming into his house. Rescuers in boats came to his house, urging him to let them take him to safety. He stayed. The water rose and filled his house. He had to climb on the roof to keep out of the swift waters of the flood. A rescue helicopter spotted him and dropped down to save him but he refused their help. He drown. When he woke up in heaven he asked, “Lord, why didn’t you save me?” The Lord replied, “Who do you think sent the police officers, boats and rescue helicopters?”

Have you ever gotten so self-absorbed in your grief and pity that you did not recognize all the people surrounding you who were waiting to help? I know I have. It is like the saying, “I couldn’t see the forest for all the trees.” These are the moments when we are losing the battle because we have allowed the enemy to take our focus off of God and turned it to ourselves. Hopelessness, despair and loneliness are some of the enemies most subtle, yet successful weapons.

The good news, as David will shows us in this Psalm, is we can use the enemy’s weapons and turn them into tools for kingdom use. The Bible speaks of this Biblical principle in Isaiah 54:17, “no weapon formed against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.”

David seems to have been so bombarded with attacks that he has fallen into great despair. The first three verses show how desperately David is crying out for the presence of God. I wear reading glasses and often misplace them. I have had times where I have searched every corner of the house looking for those glasses only to find out they were on the top of my head the whole time. This is the only explanation for David’s desperate pleas. The Bible says God never leaves or forsakes us. God is always there, we just don’t recognize it.

David struggles with this throughout the Psalm. In verse 5, David knows this truth and even asks himself, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” Yet, like so many of us, we quickly forget this and go right back into our depression. The very next verse David cries out, “My soul is downcast within me”.

If you struggle with this same “wishy-washy faith”, take heart. We all have moments of great strength and faith. We also go through seasons of weakness and doubt. The goal of this is to learn from the dry periods when our faith seems frail and thin. This is the time to get into God’s Word, pray hard, and seek guidance from other Christians.

Sometimes we just need to be reminded about our relationship with God, the blessings He has for us, the power of His name, and the protection we have in Him. He is our strong tower. He never leaves or forsakes us. We have to get our focus off of our circumstances and back on Him.

Investigational Resources: 2 Chronicles 20:15.

Officer Safety Principle: “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:11.

from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 1
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!