In Psalm 34, David had been anointed as a young man to be the future king of Israel. The whole nation knew he’d be the future king and yet the current king was still in place. King Saul was controlling, he did not follow God‘s heart, and soon Saul was trying to kill young David. While David had to literally run for his life from the spears and schemes of Saul, he wrote Psalm 34 from a cave.
In the first three verses David makes it clear that no matter what happens he’ll continue to praise God: “I will lift up the Lord at all times…” In verse 4 he continues, “I sought the Lord and He answered me. He delivered me from all of my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant. Their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man,” David says, “called, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all of his troubles.”
Reading Psalm 34 late one night, it was God’s voice that filled my hospital room. I hope you’ve had this experience. I've had it many times and the voice is never audible. I didn’t see anything. I describe these moments as ‘a truth’ that fills your mind and heart; an awareness of something true about God’s heart and yours. God‘s voice was so clear to me in that moment, when I understood he was saying to me, “this is what I’m doing, Brad. You can try to control it, or you can be okay with me in control.” I just lay there, tears streaming, in the truth of what I knew God was asking of me. He was asking me to give him everything: my health, my future, my life, my work.
Oddly I knew the truth that no matter what happens to me, I’d be stepping into good. I also was somehow aware that any stress in trying to control my health and life would only grow. My worry and control would keep me from moving ahead with God. Similarly to David writing from a cave, it was strangely clear to me that with God in control, even as bad as things might get, I’d still be moving into the flow of his good. I didn’t have a sense that my health would improve. I simply and clearly knew that as bad as this was, with God in full control I’d be in the space of good.
That night this follower of Jesus surrendered total control of my situation, my future, and even my life to God’s space of good. I knew God was calling me, in the cave of 2020 and the cave of my illness, to the place of God’s good, by giving him complete control.