1Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me;?all day long an attacker oppresses me;?2my enemies trample on me all day long,?for many attack me proudly. 3When I am afraid,?I put my trust in you.?4In God, whose word I praise,?in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.?What can flesh do to me? —Psalm 56:1-4
Have you ever been afraid, like I mean afraid afraid, like really afraid something was going to happen to you? It can make you do some crazy things!
I've been a Chicago Blackhawks fan all my life, and me and some friends went to Philadelphia to see the Stanley Cup final game last year. And, okay; I was afraid. Most of the hockey fans in Philadelphia aren't sweet and kind like your grandmother; they're more like the schoolyard bully when you were a kid. And so they're like: You think you’re going to win the Cup in our house? You think you can come in here, enjoy a game, and get out in one piece? It's scary going to Philadelphia. So, yes, I was afraid.
So, I put on my Chicago Blackhawks jersey, but over it I put a Philadelphia Flyers jersey. So when we were walking to the game, all my friends were getting called out as Chicago fans. The Philadelphians were saying stuff your mama doesn't know about. Meanwhile I'm walking in with my Philadelphia jersey, under cover.
But when I got inside, I felt kind of bold, like: I beat you. So when I ran into a television newscaster from Chicago, I boldly pulled off the Flyers disguise to reveal my Blackhawk jersey on air. It wasn't very smart.
It seemed like a great idea, but all the Phili fans watched me do it. Now I was like Enemy #1. And I'm telling you when the Hawks won, Chicago fans were getting punched, and it was mayhem! I'm like, This is not going to end good! And all the guys I walked in with, they were hard to find at that point.
Now, take that and multiply that by a factor that's unimaginable, and you'll begin to encroach upon what David is feeling when he says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” God, don't let this go where it looks like it's going. I’m scared all right, but I’m trusting You. That’s David’s great lesson for us; not that we should never fear; but that when we fear, we need to put our trust in God.
Prayer: Father, it’s so easy for me to get lost in fear. Yet I know that fear reveals how weak I am and how desperately I need You. If I never feared I would end up thinking it was about me—so thank You for allowing me moments that remove every doubt about my independence and cause me to turn in trust to You. In Jesus’ trustworthy name, Amen.