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17 Oct

In Psalm 18, the psalmist is in distress and cries out to God. God hears his cry and this wonderful imagery of God in the storm clouds coming to do battle and rescue the psalmist covers the next twelve verses. Picture the images as you read Psalm 18:

Psalm 18: 6-19
6 In my distress I called upon the LORD;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
7 Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
8 Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
9 He bowed the heavens, and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
10 He rode on a cherub, and flew;
he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering(5643), around him,
his canopy thick clouds dark with water.
12 Out of the brightness before him
there broke through his clouds
hailstones and coals of fire.
13 The LORD also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice.[a]
14 And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings, and routed them.
15 Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O LORD,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
16 He reached down from on high, he took me;
he drew me out of mighty waters.
17 He delivered me from my strong enemy,
and from those who hated me;
for they were too mighty for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity;
but the LORD was my support.
19 He brought me out into a broad place;
he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

You know why God comes to the aid of those crying for help? “he delivered me, because he delighted in me.”(v 19, emphasis mine). God takes delight in me, and in you!
I love this image. God wants to come to the rescue to draw us up and love us, delight in us. 

One thing I notice here. God acts after we call to him for help. Now picture again this image of the storm and God’s hand reaching down.
16 He reached down from on high, he took me;
he drew me out of mighty waters.

What would happen if God is in the storm cloud and he reaches in to hold you fast yet you resisted and didn’t go into this tender hand that reaches down to you?

What if you did? What if you crept into this big, giant hand, this gentle hand that is coming out of this thunder clapping, lightning shooting storm that is billowing around you, With wild wind and wild water flying around, what if you trusted him in the midst of the storm. You climbed up and into his hand and he held you close.

How does that feel? What would it take to trust him?

I so often get to thinking that everything depends on me. It is up to me to solve this or get that done. I see big projects, I make a plan and jump in over my head. It is too much to do on my own. There isn’t enough time. I become overwhelmed, discouraged and snappy because I am not living up to these high expectations I have for myself. Or if I do get it all done on my own, I am stressed and resentful and exhausted at the end of it all.

Take that image of God’s hand reaching down. I have a choice to continue to do things my way, on my own. Or I can acknowledge that I need help. When I am seizing control whether this is with other people or with God, I am not trusting them. When I trust someone, I have to let them do whatever it is and not take over. Otherwise where is the trust?

I find that when things seem fine it is harder to let go and trust. I like being in charge too much.

What if storms are reminders that we aren’t really in control, that God wants to be our refuge – to walk with us daily. He wants us to trust in him.

I am learning to ask for help, to not try to do it all on my own.

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