Between a rock and a hard place

They’re just so precious aren’t they?

bzzzzzt… bzzzzzt… BZZZZZ, bzzzzzt… bzzzzzt… BZZZZZ. The Nokia vibrated in my pocket, again, making me wonder what could be so urgent. I’d been in a meeting for 15 minutes and this was the sixth time a call had come through.

“Hi, it’s Mark,” I half whispered as I stood and headed towards the door excusing myself by nodding to the other meeting participants.

My dad’s voice was on the other line, he sounded short, serious, a bit worried. “Mark, Liezl is trying to get hold of you, there’s something wrong with Kathryn. She’s not breathing well.”

Anxiety mixed with one part worry, two parts concerns and a dash of anger left me feeling a bit punch drunk.

That night was almost sleepless and I had plenty of time to think. One of the things I was reminded of was the way that David wrote Psalms. You see David was a man who frequently had to stand up to life’s curve balls. When he wrote to and about God he would put his problems forward, honestly, plainly, in his humanity. Then he’d remind himself of God’s ability to take care of him. Finally he would also burst out into praise, exulting God as his hope and shield in times of trouble.

Check out Psalm 59 for instance:

For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Of David. A miktam . When Saul had sent men to watch David’s house in order to kill him.


1 Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
Set me {securely} on high away from those who rise up against me.

2 Deliver me from those who do iniquity
And save me from men of bloodshed.

3 For behold, they have set an ambush for my life;
Fierce men launch an attack against me,
Not for my transgression nor for my sin, O LORD,

4 For no guilt of {mine,} they run and set themselves against me.
Arouse Yourself to help me, and see!


5 You, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel,
Awake to punish all the nations;
Do not be gracious to any {who are} treacherous in iniquity.

6 They return at evening, they howl like a dog,
And go around the city.

7 Behold, they belch forth with their mouth;
Swords are in their lips,
For, {they say,} “Who hears?”

8 But You, O LORD, laugh at them;
You scoff at all the nations.

9 {Because of} his strength I will watch for You,
For God is my stronghold.

10 My God in His lovingkindness will meet me;
God will let me look {triumphantly} upon my foes.

11 Do not slay them, or my people will forget;
Scatter them by Your power, and bring them down, O Lord, our shield.

12 {On account of} the sin of their mouth {and} the words of their lips,
Let them even be caught in their pride,
And on account of curses and lies which they utter.

13 Destroy {them} in wrath,
destroy {them} that they may be no more;
That {men} may know that God rules in Jacob
To the ends of the earth.

14 They return at evening, they howl like a dog,
And go around the city.

15 They wander about for food
And growl if they are not satisfied.


16 But as for me,
I shall sing of Your strength;
Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For You have been my stronghold
And a refuge in the day of my distress.

17 O my strength, I will sing praises to You;
For God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.

Acts 13:22 describes David as a man after God’s own heart. Man, that’s what I want be, turning life’s situations into praise.

What are you facing at the moment? Feeling overwhelmed? Are you honest with God when you lay your petitions before Him? When things are tight how do you do on the praise side?


One thought on “Between a rock and a hard place

  1. Thanks Mark. I am so blessed that I have learnt when there are valleys to stumble through that to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus is what keeps me strong. He is my fortress and stronghold. Amen!

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