O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God. (Psalm 3:1-2)
We all have a tendency to deceive ourselves about our true circumstances. The behavioural science school calls these “cognitive biases”. We tend to underestimate our problems. Whether it a struggle with sin, emotional pain or physical suffering! This is why I find reading Psalm 3 so refreshing.
David wrote the psalm when he was going through a leadership crisis and was on the run from his son Absolom who had taken over his kingdom. Indeed, it was not just David's throne that was stolen, Absolom also took away his women. Fear and shame had knocked on the front door of David's life. How will David react?
David owns up to the problem. He admits three things in the few opening verses of the the psalm. First, he admits that he has many problems. He cries out to God, "Lord, how many are my foes!". Secondly, he admits that his problems are getting worse. In his own words, "many rise up against me". Finally, he gives us a hint that his problems are getting to him. He says, many are talking about him. They are saying God wont save him. David, a man after God's own heart, is now regarded by his peers as a stranger to God. This hurts him badly!
Coming out like this is very hard for David given his kingly position and cultural conventions. It is like a national president coming out and admitting that he can't manage his home and that his children are now in charge. Or may be its like a pastor in a church holding up his hand and saying he is struggling with serious sin and has nowhere to turn. Such things are very rare indeed, and often done under duress. But here we see David approaching God and admitting his problem!
Where in your life are you allowing your reputation to stop you from seeking help from God? Perhaps you are struggling with some addiction. You fear the shame associated with sharing it with someone. Perhaps you are in an abuseful relationship and you are afraid what admitting may mean! David teaches us that looking to God for help starts with being honest about our true circumstances!
We know that that having a grip on reality is good for us. So why then don’t we do it? The Bible points out that our sinful nature is the problem! Having a grip on reality starts by first accepting that we are sinful people living in a sinful world! The world is not as it should be! The world and our lives are broken by sin!
Accepting our brokeness is a necessary but insufficient response. We need to go futher. We need to accept that God has sent Jesus to be broken for us on the Cross! Only by looking at our broken Saviour who died for us at Calvary can we accept our own brokenness! Are you broken by your situation? Struggling with sin, loneliness or perhaps the challenges of parenting? Jesus is beckoning your to accept your brokenness and bring them to him right now because he has already been broken for you on Golgotha!
Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2015
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