He could not sleep. He had no solutions. He felt overcome with anguish and brokenness. He did all he knew to do. Ideas eluded him as much as sleep. His mind was tired. His body was exhausted. He felt as though every fiber of his being was being pulled in a dozen directions. He felt like the walls were closing in around him, the ceiling pressing down upon him.
“Out of my distress I called upon the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free and in a large place.” Psalm 118:5
Sometimes it is out of complete and utter exhaustion we come to the point of crying out to the Lord. Sometimes we are so comfortable doing things our way that the Lord introduces specific difficulties which we cannot handle. We have problems we cannot solve. We have questions we cannot answer. Our body, soul, and spirit are simply empty. When we reach this point, we turn to God and let Him know we need Him. We cannot deal with life another moment without His divine intervention. The mountain is too high. The water is too deep. We feel smothered, closed in and surrounded by our trials. Out of that distress, we cry out to the Lord.
He answers us and sets us free from the bondage of self-sufficiency and stress. He puts us in a spacious place where we can breathe again.
I don’t like close places. I’m not claustrophobic, but I don’t like small spaces all that much. I like it when elevator doors open. I want to drive in front of an eighteen-wheeler and not behind it. I cringe when aisles in stores are cluttered with stock waiting to be placed on shelves. I love to drive in wide-open spaces of Oklahoma. I love to see horizons far away, to look down from Mt. Scott and stare at the vast lakes, ponds, roads, and distant mountain peaks. Spaciousness. It’s so liberating.
I can understand how David felt in his struggle in this Psalm. When God frees us from the burdens we carry, it indeed feels like He has placed us in a large spacious place. We can finally breathe, deep cleansing breaths. It’s then I am compelled to praise Him for His glory, for His presence, for His power, and His grace which sets us upon His solid rock of mercy and compassion.
Are you feeling crushed? Distressed? Pressured by the world’s demands? Take a walk, or ride. Find your open space…lie on the ground and stare into the sky through tree branches. Thank God for His freedom and deliverance.