I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8
I remember the moment. I was sitting with friends on a Sunday evening and they were asking about some recent health issues I had been dealing with, issues I referred to as “my battle." I shared how I had been feeling and how I was managing the symptoms, which had been better the last few days. I even remarked that I almost felt like I was getting better.
Famous. Last. Words.
The next few weeks were some of the worst yet. There were several days when it felt like my medication barely ebbed the nerve issues in my body, and I was pretty discouraged. Actually, more than discouraged, I was afraid. Boiling down the fears with this battle leads to the ultimate fear—that my symptoms will get so bad that I won’t be able to work, to hike, to take care of my family…to take care of myself.
The author of Psalm 16 had some of those same fears, only his went as far as fearing for his very life. The first eight verses of Psalm 16 speak to his confidence in God, his belief that God will protect him, will preserve his life.
While this chapter may be metaphorical, his words in verses 9 – 11 speak of the physical… My body will rest secure...You will not abandon me to the realm of the dead...You make known to me the path of life.
The evidence shows that the author (possibly King David) was in fear of his own life. He wasn’t thinking about dying in the future; he was dealing with an imminent threat.
I find comfort in knowing that in the face of real danger, he could speak with confidence about the Lord’s protection. I also find courage in his words. He doesn’t ask God to take away the danger or cower in the face of the fear. He doesn’t even ask God to help Him. His words are not a question; they are a proclamation, “I will not be shaken.”
In the face of the fears I had as my symptoms flared beyond normal, I had moments more defined by fear and flailing than comfort and courage. I have to believe that the author of these words in Psalm 16 did as well.
We all have moments that fear threatens to overtake. We all face times of weakness and exhaustion when fighting a battle. Yet, we all have the choice to let these moments stay moments, or become something much bigger.
When I have those moments, this is the verse that comes to my mind more than any other. Why? Because I truly do want to have confidence in God. I truly do want to have confidence in not only His protection, but His presence.
Famous last words?
I’d like them to be, “I will not be shaken.”
PS I’ll be talking more about overcoming life’s battles at a Coffee Talk this coming Sunday, September 17. Please consider joining us! Register now!