Don’t Run Away. Run To God.
“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. – Psalm 55:22 NLT
My wife has a phrase she tends to use when things are not going well. She’ll say, “I wish we could go to an island.” When those words come out of her mouth, she is expressing the same thing David did when he said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness. How quickly I would escape – far from this wild storm of hatred” (Psalm 55:6-8 NLT). Both David and my wife occasionally find themselves in situations that cause them to want to run away and hide. My wife pictures a secluded island, far from the cares and troubles that confront her. For David, it was the wilderness of Judea, outside the walls of Jerusalem. Which I find interesting, because the wilderness is David spent so many years hiding from the paid assassins of King Saul. You would think that the wilderness is the last place David would want to go, but those barren, rocky hills had become a place of refuge, peace, and protection for him. It was in the wilderness that he found rest, safety, and a sense of well-being. Life as the king living within the crowded walls of Jerusalem was anything but easy. There was intrigue, infighting, money issues, family quarrels, government concerns, and the constant threat of war because of all of Israel’s enemies. Then there was the pressure of being king and shepherd over the people of God. David was under a tremendous amount of pressure. On top of that, he had had one of his closest friends turn on him. David says, “It is not an enemy who taunts me – I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me – I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you – my equal, my companion and close friend” (Psalm 55:12-13 NLT). We aren’t told what happened between David and this unnamed individual, but it must have been bad. It is so bad that David wants to run away and hide. Much like he did when his son, Absalom, stole the hearts of the people. Rather than face his son and protect his throne, David ran away. And now he was tempted to do so again. Running is always an attractive option. Some of us run away from problems literally, while others of us do it somewhat figuratively. We may run to busyness, drowning our problems in preoccupation with something else. We may run to drugs or alcohol, attempting to cloud our perception that the problem even exists. We may run to some form of entertainment, hoping to distract our minds off of the issue at hand. Or we may run from our problems by attempting to ignore them altogether. But whatever tactic we take, running from our problems rarely ever works, and it never really makes them go away. And David knew that.
So instead of running, or flying away, David ran to God. He called and God and asked Him to do what only God can do – provide rescue and relief. David knew from experience that “God, who has ruled forever, will hear me and humble them” (Psalm 55:19 NLT). As bad as things might have been, David knew that God was fully capable of handling his problems, his enemies, his clash with his former friend, and anything else that came up in his life. His advice? “Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall” (Psalm 55:22 NLT). Running away may provide distance from our problems, but it never provides resolution. Only God can do that. We can confidently face whatever comes our way by taking it to the Lord and giving it over to Him. Don’t run away. Run to Him. He is where we will find peace, safety, rescue, and resolution to our problems.
Father, I am not sure why I don’t run to You more often and more readily. You have never failed me or let me down in the last, but I still find myself running away rather than running to You. When faced with problems, I long for escape, when what I should long for is You. You alone can help me. You alone can rescue me. You alone are the answer to every problem that confronts me. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men