Hear my cry, O God;
Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Being overwhelmed is just that, you have no control of your situation. You have lost your grip, your footing, you haven’t even a toehold. Fear floods into your heart as your mind races—and that’s all it does because there are no solutions.
Look at the passage again, the end of the earth is a remote place. The Psalmist is far away from rescue. He is painfully aware of the scope of his dilemma. He hasn’t enough money, he cannot remedy the situation, there is no more energy, his health fails, the enemy is on all sides, the water is rising, the flames are drawing closer. . . .
Have you ever felt like that?
Engulfed. Submerged. Buried. Helpless.
That’s the word, helpless. You feel helpless.
Before this, we are usually doing fine or at least maintaining life on our own strength or, being spiritual, we are doing it all in the power of the Holy Spirit. But then, because of sin or because of God’s love in testing us, our security and our strength disappears as consequence or circumstance rise like a flood.
Have you ever been in a real live flood? If you have, you know that there is so much water rising that roads disappear, personal belongings float away and everyone sees your helplessness and there is little to nothing that you can do. Ruin and loss ensue and the weather, the wind and the rain, feel like a violation.
You may never have experienced a real, live, flood, but we all, at some point in our lives have been overwhelmed.
That is why we can easily identify with the prayer, “Hear my cry, O God.” We echo the Psalmist knowing that there is only one source of relief. The One who made the world is the only one who can save us now. “Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”
There is honesty in such a prayer. All resources are gone or impotent and now the only course is to find higher ground but even though we become aware of this, after flailing away in trying to save ourselves (and others), we also know that we cannot make it to safety without help.
Prayer is too often the last resort in our efforts to “hold it together.” We know ourselves and we are painfully aware that God knows us even more. Why would He help?
Well, salvation—your salvation—was accomplished by God’s Son dying for you on the cross. That is the ultimate rescue. And being saved from wrath is a greater need than all others that you will face in your life; combined. Combined and multiplied.
I have a friend who has the gift of verbal descriptions that are unintentionally hilarious and yet at the same time profound. She once said, “Take the worst you’ve ever felt, multiply it by twenty-million and it was twice as bad than that.”
Our pain and plight are incalculable to us, but it fails when compared to the inestimable grace of our eternal salvation. In this, we are already on the Rock and safe.
So cry out to the Lord who hears His people no matter where they are in life. Call upon Him who gave Jesus to die for sinners who would never be able to save themselves. He is our hope. He has always been our only hope.