I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. The cords of death encompassed me, and the torrents of ungodliness terrified me. The cords of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, And my cry for help before Him came into His ears.
One cannot help but see how fear has taken a grip on most of the country. We are facing an unknown and unseen enemy. When one see’s the projections of the number of deaths we are facing. It can’t help but create anxiety among us… whether one wants it or not! Maybe you at this moment may feel as David did: “the cords of death encompass me… the cords of Sheol surround me.” Fear can make you feel like you are drowning… surrounded by the enemy… desperate for air. That is understandable.
But I love the words of Katherine Paterson: “To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.”
Consider the strategy of USMC officer Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller. When the Marines were cut off behind enemy lines and the Army had written the 1st Marine Division off as being lost (as they were surrounded by 22 enemy divisions each with 16,550 men). He reportedly said: “They are in front of us, and we are flanked on both sides by an enemy that outnumbers us 29:1. They can’t get away from us now!”
The Marines made it out inflicting the highest casualty ration on an enemy in history and destroying 7 entire enemy divisions in the process.
Knowing the enemy is surrounding you is helpful. Attacking it with everything you have is even more helpful. How are you waging war against anxiety right now? Are you doing everything you can to maintain a thriving relationship with the Lord through this forced time indoors? Are you doing what you need to do to promote good “self care” right now? Walking? Reading hopeful books? Talking with friends that are hopeful? Serving others… albeit from a distance?
This will be a long war. We need to prepare our hearts for extended time in the trenches. Have you discussed strategy with the Lord?
A couple more verses and then one thought to comprehend:
Deuteronomy 31:8 – “The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Psalm 139:5 – “You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand on me.”
Psalm 16:8 – “I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
Psalm 34:7 – “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.”
So if God is before us, behind us… on our right and all around us… what does that make us? Surrounded. Surrounded by His goodness and surrounded by His love. Think on that… and be hopeful.