A magnetic field is a force that either attracts or repels objects. The threat of harm and suffering is similar to a magnet because distress produces (i.e. attracts) emotional, psychological, and spiritual responses. At times suffering can attract feelings of abandonment, fear, anxiety, and doubt while repelling trust in God. Sometimes circumstances of desolation and despair engender us to align ourselves with God whose immense love and immeasurable grace is like a magnet to the human soul. During times of suffering and great troubles, reflect upon the emotions and ideas that are attaching themselves to our hearts and minds.
The psalmist reflected on God’s faithfulness during a time when his soul was weary due to the advances of his enemies. He compared the attacks of his enemies to ravenous wild beasts seeking to devour a vulnerable prey. Has difficulty and distress ever left you feeling vulnerable and insecure like a small child separated from a parent or guardian in a grocery store? Subsequently, the fear stricken child desperately seeks the presence of the parent and cries out.
The psalmist felt detached from the salvation of his life and bellowed in agony, “Hear my voice when I call, O Lord.” His desperate prayer of deliverance momentarily repelled the onslaught of doubt and fear that besieged him. When we are faced with turmoil and besieged with trials, a commitment to prayer is an indication that the presence of God is more attractive than the enticement of anxiety. Prayer acts as an anchor to the distressed soul. When our lives or overthrown with turmoil, prayer attaches our soul (mind/emotions/affections) to God who is the anchor of our wavering faith.
The psalmist cried out to the “Lord” as he determined that Yahweh was more powerful than the storms of life and the threats of his enemies. Though the storms of fear raged in his heart, the psalmist strongly wanted the safety of the Divine presence. As a consequence, he sought the face of God in prayer. The psalmist desired the presence of God with all his heart. However, this was not a one- time act of religious devotion but the continued yearning of the soul to be in union with God. God became the object of the affections of the soul. Oh, do our hearts burn for communion with our Creator and Redeemer. Trials can inhibit us from prayer because we turn our attention to the magnitude of the situation instead of the safety of God’s dwelling.
Prayer is an incubator that provides the spiritual conditions to grow religious passion. Furthermore, prayer reminds us that the Divine presence is near even when our circumstances suggest God is far away. The psalmist petitions that God not reject or forsake him–essentially this was a cry for God to be near. Trials and troubles cannot separate us from the faithfulness of God who is near and not far away. Therefore, we can place our trust in God and have confident expectation in God’s capacity to sustain us and deliver us. God promises to be with us and never leave us even when we wander in the wilderness of life or we are encompassed by fear. Stay encouraged and “wait for the Lord.” “Be strong and take heart” knowing that God is our light and salvation because God’s presence repels fear. God’s love is a magnet that attracts us to communion with God in prayer in spite of our circumstances. Make time to cry out to God in prayer today.