Troublesome Thoughts

Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
because of what my enemy is saying, because of the threats of the wicked; for they bring down suffering on me and assail me in their anger.

Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.
But You, God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of decay; the bloodthirsty and deceitful will not live out half their days. But as for me, I trust in You.

Psalm 55:1-3, 22-23 NIV

Oh dear! David is troubled by his thoughts once again. Sound familiar? Those times when we wake up in the wee small hours, “troubled by our thoughts”. Those times when a small problem adopts larger than life proportions and threatens to derail our sleep for a few hours. Well, this seems to be David’s predicament. Except his problem seems to be what people think of him. He seems to have an enemy who is set on spreading lies about him and adding in angry threats for good measure. And the result is that he becomes distraught and suffers greatly.

As we read through this Psalm, it follows the pattern of our nocturnal sleeplessness as we toss and turn, tormented by our thoughts. David went through a familiar process. 

A pounding heart and shaking with fear.
Wanting to run away, the quicker and further the better.
An attempt at blaming something, in this case the wickedness within the city
Sadness about a friend letting him down.
Concocting in his mind what he would like to happen to his enemies.

You can just feel the distress and discomfort building up to a crescendo. But then reality kicks in. He remembers the Lord and what he has done for him in the past and will do for him again in the future. He looks as his problem more rationally, receiving revelation and objectivity about the battle he is engaged in, the facts about his enemies, and even receives a dose of reality over his friend’s behaviour. And he finishes his rant with a statement of the dependability of God. How He will take care of him, carrying his burdens. Knowing that God will not let His people come to grief. And finally declaring that God can be trusted to save him. Wow! What a journey! 

But what an inspiration to us. It boils down to the simplest of conclusions. No matter what is keeping us awake at night, it will never be too big a problem for God to help us through it. Amen?