When David thought he’d seen it all, had enough trouble and family drama, his young daughter gets raped by his other son, Amnon. The drama continues as the angry brother Absalom kills Amnon for raping his sister. The worst family drama. I can only try to imagine the misery, the shame, feeling of failure as a father, the depression and total burnout that follows. It was after this time that he wrote Psalms 40:
“ I waited patiently for the Lord to help me and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along…”
Looking at David’s story, I think everyone would sympathize with him. It’s been a long painful journey, heart breaking, heart transforming and heart rebuilding. As he writes Psalms 40, we see him matured, his heart changed, he has a confidence he didn’t have when it all started. Although still going through very difficult times with his family, he is singing a different kind of a song. He is recognising what God has done and is confident that he would do it again. His ability to come back to God, despite his guilt, failure, shame and sins is astonishing! He has come to believe in God’s love, grace, mercy and forgiveness. No wonder God speaking of David said he was:
“A man after my own heart”.
Through his political, social and spiritual failures, through burnout, depression, stress and distress, David still emerges a changed person, loved by and loving God. David is seen time and time again going back to God; he has discovered his peaceful dwelling place, which he sums up in Psalms 46:
“God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”.
This sense of a protecting canopy or defence is featured prominently in the psalms and repeatedly in the whole of Psalms 91.
David clung to this theme many times as he went through the different experiences of stress. In fact, he frequently referred to this place as his hiding place, his shelter, protective cover, his refuge and his peaceful dwelling: Psalms 61:3, 31:20, 27:5, 119:114, 32:7. Basically, David had found a ‘place’ in the presence of God. Accordingly, I would like to reiterate that there is a ‘place’ of taking cover, from where we can manage stress from God’s perspective, where we can retain his peace despite the stressors. In this place, the great shepherd guides, feeds, corrects and consoles us as we dwell in his presence.
Grace overlooks everything, it does not require performance or effort, its free and undeserved. We can all benefit and claim peace and forgiveness through the Grace of God.