DC Devotion: Psalm 22


“Don’t be far from me, because distress is near and there’s no one to help” -Psalm 22:11

When I was little, my father was the one I went to when I was scared. Anytime a thunderstorm hit, or I was afraid from a bad dream, I’d go wake up my dad. One night in particular, I was struggling with sleeping, and I was so frustrated that all I could do was cry. My dad, as the caring man he is, came and he sat next to me, and he stroked my hair and didn’t leave until I fell asleep. In Psalm 22 we see the same picture of a distressed child crying out to his loving father. David, who is distressed due to the chaos of life, cries out to the Lord for reassurance that he is not alone. David utilizes imagery about dogs engulfing him, thirst overcoming him, and bulls threatening him, to paint the picture of extreme need and extreme loneliness. All eyes are on David to watch his next move, yet he couldn’t feel more abandoned or lonely. I think of how I feel in my own times of stress. When the enemy is giving me everything he has, and all eyes are watching to see how I will respond, I feel like the one whose response I should be dependent on is nowhere to be found. However, David, in the midst of his fear, does something which not a lot of us tend to do in distress. He decides to praise God. Why? Because God has shown time and time again he will answer David in his time of need. He says, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters; I will praise you in the assembly. You who fear the Lord, praise him!” (Psalm 22: 22). 

Through this praise David becomes the perfect example of what it means to praise in the storm. Even when all is lost and loneliness is all you feel, David reminds us to proclaim the name of the God who has never failed, and never will. He reminds us that we are never too far from the eyes of El-Roi (the God who sees), and that his promise remains that he will never leave nor forsake us. Remember that you can cry out to a father who will stroke your hair when you cannot sleep and will embrace you when you want to crumble. This is the God we serve, and Psalm 22 reminds us that he is never far and he is the only help we need.

Isabelle Donihue poses in her cheerleading outfit.

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