“I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.”
~ Psalm 3:5
Although our current Bible translations provide their own titles for each psalm (my ESV Bible says “Save Me, O My God”), this is the first psalm in the psalter to have a title descriptor in the original manuscript. It is noted as “A psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.” For reference, this story can be found in 2 Samuel 15-16.
This was a very dark, dreadful, overwhelming and anxious time in the life of David. But contrary to the default of our sinful hearts and the dominate persuasion of our current culture, he did not seek to find strength from within himself. Security was not found by introspection, “finding himself” or “following his heart”. Instead, he looked outside himself with a self-emptying/self-denying trust in God. God alone is the source of safety (v.3), calm (v.4), rest (v.5), peace (v.6), salvation (v.7) and blessing (v.8)…the very cure for all our dread and anxiety. We do not find our identity within ourselves, but our identity is in Christ (Colossians 3:3).
We may not have enemies like David did, nor like Jesus did. But David called out to God and then laid down and slept (v.3-4). Jesus did not strike back at his enemies but instead took the blows, entrusting himself to the Father (1 Peter 2:23-24). And so, it is to Jesus that we turn in our times of fear and dread and anxiety and being overwhelmed.
Cry out to your Father today. He IS listening!