Maybe you’ve felt overwhelmed and depleted during a particularly hard season of life. Or, maybe you struggle with anxiety most every day, if you’re honest. Perhaps you have even felt this way for as long as you can remember…what’s the solution?
“But you, O LORD, are a shield about me,
myÂ glory, and theÂ lifter of my head.” Psalm 3:3
I love this verse because it was written by someone who was going through a time of deep despair and shame. King David’s own son, Absalom, had just usurped his authority as king, and devised a conspiracy to take away not only his father’s crown, but also his very life. Most of David’s servants had turned against him, along with friends he had trusted as he was forced out of Jerusalem.
David had only a few close advisors that went with him as he escaped at night, under the cover of darkness, into the hills. Imagine, A king! Being forced to flee in secrecy, betrayed by his own family and closest friends, his reputation tarnished and his power stolen. And yet… he declares the Lord to be his shield – the word used here implies not just a piece that protects the chest area, but one that encompasses and encircles entirely. The Lord would surround him with His care. This was a declaration of fact made by David. He knew that God was his shield – his help, his protector. His confidence in God was unshakable.
Also, David declares God to be his glory; the lifter of his head. At this dark time, when David’s own glory was stripped from him, he relies and rests in God’s glory, which is unchangeable and everlasting. At a time when his head was hung in shame, he recognizes that God is the One Who lifts his head. It is a great grace to be able to see glory in the midst of our shame. Our value and identity are not dependent on our reputation or our actions if our lives are surrendered to God. David’s words are especially sweet precisely because there is nothing in his current circumstances that looked glorious or gave him a reason to hold his head high. And in this painful, lonely, and confusing time, David looked to his Lord. The only One Who could provide these things for him.
Overwhelmed? Anxious? Depleted? I am so thankful for the examples in scripture that explain God’s character and His love for us! Are you like me? I forget about these truths so easily during the smooth seasons of life, and then when troubles come, it’s difficult to remember to look for help from “the lifter of my head,” as the Psalmist describes Him. Life can be overwhelming and exhausting, especially if we are trying to live it in our own strength and with only our own resources. Yes, God is the lifter of our heads – when we choose to Lift Our Eyes to Him.
Further reading: 2 Samuel 15, Psalm 3, Psalm 42