You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you in a dry and parched land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1)
In Psalm 63, David wrote about his wilderness experience. Some scholars believe this psalm was inspired by the time when David was on the run from King Saul, who was trying to kill him. Other scholars believe David was writing about the days when he was fleeing from his son Absalom, who was also trying to kill him. Whatever the time frame, David’s life was in jeopardy, and he was enduring a wilderness experience. Yet his focus remained on his God, who David knew was with him every step of the way.
David’s wilderness experience was beyond his control, but it was not beyond God’s control; by keeping this truth in view, David was able to rise above the waves of challenge that were washing over him. In a dry and desolate land, David knew just where to look for “water,” and he longed to worship his God in the sanctuary in Jerusalem. His desperate circumstances did not affect or alter his confidence in God one bit. Why? First, because David knew that God is a covenant-keeping God, who has promised blessing to His people, and second, because David kept his focus on his God, not his circumstances.
In verse three of the same psalm, David declared, “Your love is better than life.” Is this the confession of our lives?
When the apostle Paul said, “To me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21), he was giving us another word for the wilderness experiences we will inevitably face in this life. For Paul, Jesus was everything. Paul lived in a continual wilderness experience from the moment of his conversion until the moment he was martyred for his faith. Yet he kept his focus on Christ, not his circumstances, and that is the key for you and me today.
Whatever wilderness experience you may be facing today or will face in the near future, keep in view both what David said — Your love is better than life — and the words of Paul: To live is Christ, and to die is gain. When you do that, you too will rise above every wave of challenge that washes over you, because greater is the power that is at work within you than any power will ever come against you.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!