Providence Church Blog A gospel-centered church in Austin, Tx

Reflections on Psalm 13

*This summer at Providence Church we are spending time in the psalms together. Each week during June and July we will be posting written responses by a member of our community from their time meditating on a particular psalm. Go here to read others in the series. This week’s reflection is from Megan Strubhar:

In the children’s ministry we ask, “Where do you see Jesus?” with each story studied. The truth of their answers, such as, “Everywhere,” proves my bachelor’s degree unnecessary to locate Him. My prayer is to see Jesus in Psalm 13, where David laments in his suffering by crying out to God. My thoughts went directly to a time when I did the same.

I’ve been dealing with mild to severe insomnia for four and a half years. Last fall it was quite serious; I took a two month medical leave from work after pushing myself to the breaking point. That time felt like death; I constantly desired an end to the hell I could not escape. Many weeks went by with no sleep along with anxiety/panic attacks, which fueled my anger with God. I grasped for any control. I tried bargaining. “Lord! How can I possibly evangelize to Your people as I lay alone ‘wrestling with my thoughts, with sorrow in my heart’ (v2)? It would be in Your best interest to heal me immediately.” Aren’t I clever?

Finally, exhausted with fury, I dropped to the floor. Lying prostrate in my living room I lamented and prayed for almost 20 hours every day. Moans of pain, devastation, and entitlement to health and well-being poured out of me. I felt God had forgotten me (v1), and I found it incredibly hard to see Jesus through constant pain.

My friends and family prayed and comforted me as best they could … that was wonderful. However, it was not enough. I desperately needed God not only to intervene, but to RESCUE me! David realized the same as he pleads, “Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say ‘I have prevailed over him,’ lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken” (v3-4). David is certain that if his Lord does not aid him, he will perish in some way. Oh, did I feel the depth of this psalm in those endless months! I need Jesus to save me from the eternal death and suffering I deserve, and I desired Him to save me from my earthly suffering. And He did! Slowly, by God’s sweet provision (using many normal means He had given me), I became stable with less anxiety. I returned to work two months after leaving.

David ends with a reminder of truth: God is worthy of glory. “But I have trusted in your steadfast love, my heart shall rejoice in your salvation” (v5). He sees that his personal feelings do not prove God more or less praiseworthy or sovereign. God opened David’s (and mine as well) eyes up to His sovereignty and peace that passes all understanding. I can say thankfully and with confidence that this life is not about me. I won’t always see it as clearly as I did then, but I know “I [can] sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me” (v6).

Those munchkins are right! Jesus is everywhere. The entirety of the Bible points to Christ: Savior, Redeemer, Lord. God glorifies Himself through Himself! I do not increase or lessen His glory, no matter what I do or say or choose to believe. Whether or not I participate is my choice, and He remains glorified regardless. My hope is not in my healing; it is in my Savior! Thank you, Father!

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