First Off….read Psalm 4!
When I was learning to ride a motorcycle the instructors told us that when we ride we are to LOOK at where we are wanting to go. The reasoning behind this is because our body will naturally follow where our head and gaze are focused. I am absolutely unsure why this happens but for some reason, it makes sense to me. And I think it makes sense because this type of analogy works for the rest of life as well. When we focus on something that happens in life all other things in our life get wrapped up and tag along as well. When my HS girlfriend broke up with me and I became angry and sad and then everything else IN my life became affected as well. How I treated others, how I responded to others – all of it was affected by that one storm. I see it when my kids had a rough day at school. Their emotions take over and then spill over to all other relationships and activities for that day. The rest of the night simply is harder on us all because they are consumed by something else. I still do it when I’ve had a rough day at work.
For some reason when we are in the storms of life and when we gaze upon the eye of the storm, the scariest and most dangerous part, we are drawn in and consumed. It’s like the red evil eye of Sauron in The Lord of the Rings. Its gaze is strong and powerful and simply sucks us in! We can’t see anything else, we can’t do anything else…it simply takes us over. David is in the midst of that storm. There is a crisis at hand and while David is seeking relief from his distress…he is able to turn his gaze away from the opposition at hand and focus his gaze “Godward”.
David writes that BECAUSE he has a relationship with God he knows that God hears his prayers, will answer his needs and have mercy on him. BECAUSE God is in his life the light of his face will “shine” upon him again (a great relief when you are in the midst of darkness), his heart will fill with joy, he will find peace and be able to rest – and ultimately he will dwell “in safety.” Essentially…God will not forsake him. God will not abandon him.
I think this is something we all know…but it’s something that is hard to remember when we have been sucked in and are being consumed by a life event that is painful. The death of a loved one can bring anger – especially when it’s unexpected. The divorce of parents can bring anger and questions. If God is in full control why would he allow this? Or why would he even bring two together if they are simply going to be ripped apart later on? So many storms in life try to fracture our faith and when we get sucked into the storm and focus on the storm then we begin to steer our ship INTO that storm instead of finding safety. Instead of looking for God and his promises, our heads get turned…then our bodies follow suit…then our thoughts, emotions and the rest of us. Pretty soon…it’s swallowed us up. While I think David recognizes this (it’s not said, but it’s implied) he ALSO recognizes that that same “following” that our body has when our heads and gazes are turned to the storm…the same happens when we gaze upon God and seek his shelter, his safety, his comfort.
The storms are still going to happen. Death and destruction will hit us all in MANY ways…but darkness cannot cast out darkness – only light can. In the middle of a lighted room, you will not find a speck of darkness creeping in and slowly taking over. Instead, in the midst of darkness, it is the light that shatters it and begins taking over. We must always focus on the light.
In the midst of pain and chaos that can surround us…focus on Him. Always focus on God and He will always bring you safely home.