For years, my daughter and I have disagreed over the iconic scene in Titanic where Jack and Rose were in the water after the vessel sank. My daughter bristles at Rose’s thoughtlessness. “Mom, how could she not move on the door just a little to make room for Jack?!” I’ve argued that they would have both sank if he climbed on. We cheered as the star-crossed lovers survived the vessel’s sinking. Then, we waited in breathless hope as Jack and Rose floated in the frozen ocean waiting for rescue boats to save them from the frigid waters. Yet, as the night grew colder and ice crystals formed in Rose’s hair, she clung to that salvaged door and continued to wait.
There are times when we all feel like Rose. All of us watch various ships going down in our lives and we feel like we’re helplessly adrift, clinging to a crudely salvaged, barely-there faith. Sure, we might be alive, but we’re not sure if we have enough strength to not drown in deep confusion, exhaustion, or grief. Like Rose, you might be searching the horizon for some sign that God will rescue you. Also like Rose, there may come a point at which you’re tempted to give up because all seems lost.
If that’s you, I’m glad that you’re here today.
In Psalm 69, King David shares a precious, simple, four-word prayer that you and I need in times like this:
Save me, O God…
This little powerhouse prayer was written at an unknown time in King David’s life. Unfortunately, he had a lot of drama where this prayer could have applied, whether he was running for his life, dealing with his own sin, his sons’ rebellion, or his daughter’s sexual assault. David’s prayer continues as he uses the analogy that the “floodwaters are up to his neck.” Does that resonate with you? David is having a hard time so he’s not sugarcoating his situation, nor is David beating around the bush about what he needs.
Just four powerful, simple words: Save me, O God.
Try this little prayer out for yourself. Even if you don’t need it right now, tuck these four little words away for the future. Depending on how you grew up, those four little words may not feel like enough. You might be wondering if God will overlook a prayer that small or short.
God isn’t looking for eloquence or length when it comes to our prayers. Longer prayers don’t make you more spiritual. Likewise, fancy words don’t guarantee that you’re praying in faith. Prayer is prayer. So, David’s, “Save Me, O God” demonstrates two principles of what I call “good and gritty prayers”: short and honest. Keep that in mind the next time your desire to pray starts getting hijacked by a fear of praying. Go for short and honest and get that prayer out there to God!
God’s response to David’s “Save me, O God” prayer comes through the prophet Isaiah:
“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, You will not drown.”
Stop and savor these words for a moment, especially if you’ve felt like Rose, clinging to your faith, but not sure for how much longer. Dear friend, God sees you right now. Not only that, but He is present with you in a posture of love, never condemnation. Even more, God promises that His help is on the way. However, He rescues in His sovereign way, not always ours. If you do call out “Save me, O God,” remember that God works differently than we do. Let’s put our confidence in trusting that God will save us, rather than get picky or panicky about how or when He will do it. If you need God’s help today, open your heart and mind wide and be willing to accept God’s help no matter the outcome.
You can be sure of this, God is with you in whatever you’re going through. Whether your rescue looks like repair, restoration, redemption, or eternal resurrection, God will be there every step of the way. That is His promise. So, how should you live in light of what God has declared as His truth?
Take a deep breath.
Remember God’s promises.
Do the next right thing.
Excerpts of today’s devotional were taken from Barb’s new book, Finding Jesus in the Psalms. By exploring six powerful messianic Psalms, readers will discover how the life of King David reveals the life of Jesus and the hope that we have in Christ.