A person in a dark room in front of a window, evoking feelings of grief and weariness like so many of us feel in times of trouble.

Where do you turn in times of trouble?

I’m tired. Tired in my bones. Tired in a way that I’ve not been in at least three years. 2024 has been rough on our family so far. Three deaths in our family. Two more in our church family. A major health scare. An equally major surgery. As you can imagine, it’s a lot.

It’s been the kind of year where, every time I think I’m starting to get my feet back under me, something happens to knock me down again. One where I keep coming to the end of myself. One that makes me resonate with David’s words in Psalm 5, “Give ear to my words, O Lord…give heed to the voice of my cry” (Psalm 5:1-2 NKJV).

Inexpressible Sorrow

His innermost thoughts, his deepest needs were inexpressible. David’s heart was so broken that he lacked the words to properly express the way he feels. The most he could give is a sorrowful groan, or perhaps a heavy, weary sigh. The kind of sigh that is painfully familiar to me right now.

I know it’s dangerous to make assumptions, but I think this is all something we can resonate with, isn’t it? It’s something we’ve all experienced—this deep, deep sorrow, this weight that we can’t quite articulate. That there are not enough words that make enough sense. Some of you reading this are probably in this space right now, kind of like I am. And I’m also willing to bet that many of us also feel a strong pull to pull away from everything that will allow us to endure.

From community. From friendships. Even from God himself.

Prayer and Scripture become a struggle, if not something we actively avoid. We duck out of church as fast as we can, if we come to a gathering at all. We avoid any situation that might require us to develop any kind of depth of relationship because sometimes sitting in our pain and struggles feels safer.

Don’t Turn Away—Run to the Lord

But David, instead of running from God or sitting in his despair, turned to the Lord. He brought his need to God, even if he didn’t have the words at first. He recognized that, even as he was king over Israel, he was also under authority—while he might be a king God was his king, because God is the true king. And in his strife, David prioritized the Lord.

“In the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch,” he wrote in verse 3. He knew that, if there were anyone who could help him, it would be the Lord.

That is the key truth the entirety of Psalm 5: In times of trouble, turn to the Lord. When we are struggling, weary, and broken, we need not fear that he is far off. We need not worry that he is waiting for us to put ourselves together before we come to him. Whether we can clearly articulate our needs or all we have are groans and sighs between tears, he knows what we need. He understands. And more than that, we can count on him to act (Psalm 5:10). That’s why David turned to the Lord—because God was the only one who he could count on for his vindication.

What you and I are experiencing is not likely the kind of strife David did. Certainly what my family and I is different. But we can’t let our circumstances lead us to ignore the principles Psalm 5 has for us. We ought not brush off these in our sorrow because they are a source of comfort and hope. More than that, they they are a promise—that no matter what we are facing, no matter what we experience, no matter what our troubles are, we can turn to the Lord. God is here for us. He is listening and attentive. And he will help in the ways we need him to, even if we don’t know what those ways are.

Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

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