Posted October 20, 2014
Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you;
he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Psalm 55 is a psalm of lament where David is dealing with an enemy. In the middle of the psalm, you come to find out that this enemy was not a nameless and faceless one, but rather a close friend whom David knew well and would even worship God with who betrayed him. There was a deep level of trust and camaraderie that David felt prior with this man who was now out to get him. Does this story sound familiar to you? Have you ever experienced such loss? Such betrayal? What did you do? Where did you run? We see David did a few things:
Throughout the psalm, he confesses openly his restlessness and anguish, his fear and trembling. He fantasizes what it would be like to fly away and escape his situation; he wants justice. In this verse, David calls us to “cast our burden on the Lord…” Note that this casting need not be pretty or perfect. The psalms teach us to pray our entire emotional spectrum, and not to relegate our words to the nice “spiritual” bits. God already knows what’s in our hearts, so why not run to him with all of it (the good, the bad, and the ugly)?
Trust in God
David didn’t stop at casting his burden before the Lord; he cast his burden on God because he was trusting in God and His great power to sustain and protect him. If we are on our own, the burden is on our own shoulders to work it out. If we belong to God, God ultimately shares and bears that burden. Our job is to cast our burden on God and ultimately trust that He is working in the situation for our good and His glory. It might not straighten out right away, things might get worse, and yet we can trust this: He will sustain us. We don’t know about the exact timing of things, or how God will bring about rescue, restoration, and judgment. All we know is that He is with us in our suffering and that ultimately His word will be the final word.
Jesus experienced betrayal by His closest friends as well. Like David, He was honest with His Father on the cross as He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus, like we do, had to trust in God’s promises, believing that God would follow through with what He said He would do. Friend, you’re not alone! There is a God who is sovereign and compassionate, and therefore you can come to Him “casting all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you.” He is trustworthy.
Song by Gatlin Elms.
Artwork by Jonathan Lindsey.