Have you ever felt as though your life is out of control? As if suddenly, unexpectedly, violently, you have been hit by an avalanche that swept you away, and there was nothing, absolutely nothing, you could do about it?
It might be the result of losing a loved one. A cherished relationship that went wrong. The malevolent actions of someone that you trusted aimed towards you. The loss of a job or your home. Burnout. Financial disaster. The horror of abuse.
When the avalanche comes, it knocks you off your feet. You are carried off at speed and lose all sense of direction. You are buried. Panic and despair set in. Confusion reigns. It seems like there is no escape. Life seems hopeless. You entertain thoughts of death.
In the aftermath of an avalanche in my life, I turned to the Psalms. The raw emotion, the crying out to God, the promises of hope, all resonated strongly with me. I am certain that David himself knew more than most what it was like to be hit by the avalanche.
Psalm 27 really stood out for me during my time of struggle.Here David is under sustained threat of violence and hostility from his foes. (v2) In human terms, his future looked bleak. The avalanche has struck. Through the words of this psalm, however, we can be reassured that:
We have no reason to fear, for God is our stronghold: “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?” (v1). Our faith is sufficient even when our enemies become armies and animosity open warfare.
God will protect us and restore us: “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock” (v5).
We can “seek his face” just as he invites us to (v8), ensuring that we are right with him and seeking his will for our lives.
We can be sure that God will lead us forward through our circumstances: “Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors” (v11).
We can have complete confidence in God. He is our “helper” and “Savior” (v9). We will see his goodness (v13). As a result, we can “be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (v14).
There is hope after the avalanche. We have a God who rescues and restores us from the hardest of circumstances. Do not fear. Seek him. Be strong. Take heart. And wait for him to respond!