Friday, April 3, 2015

"Wings Like a Dove" and a Back Like a Duck

Photo courtesy of: Matt Banks,

Just get me out of here!

Oh that I had wings like a dove! 
for then would I fly away, and be at rest. 
Lo, then would I wander far off, 
and remain in the wilderness. Selah. 
I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest. 
(David, Psalm 55:6-8)

What missionary hasn’t felt this way?

Don’t you think it’s amazing that God gives us this glimpse into David’s life?

David had a problem, and he’s pretty transparent about it. My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me (Psalm 55:4-5).

David is suffering. This is why: For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company (verses 12-14). A believing friend criticized him, a good friend, and the attack was a stab-in-the-back one that really hurt. David says, The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords (verse 21).

You can take a lot of criticism from the outside—you expect the world not always to like you. But when a Christian attacks—especially a friend—it hurts deeply.

Let’s examine how David, the man after God’s own heart, responded. As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me. God shall hear (verses 16-19a). What a reaction! He went to the Lord with it. He got peace from God.

He didn’t go to others and blab, blab, blab about what so-and-so did to him. He left it with the Lord. Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved (verse 22).

Here are some more of David’s expressions of trust:

  • But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee (Psalm 5:11).
  • (Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite.) O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me (Psalm 7:1).
  • And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee (Psalm 9:10).
  • Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them (Psalm 17:7).
  • The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower (Psalm 18:2).
  • O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me (Psalm 25:2).
  • (To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness (Psalm 31:1).
  • And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him (Psalm 37:40).
  • What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me (Psalm 56:3-4).

The Bible is clear that God is the Judge and that He's the One who settles the score with wrongdoers. We can leave those criticisms that are difficult to bear with Him. The Lord will sustain us, and He will give us peace.

Photo courtesy of: Michael Elliott,

Some side lessons from Psalm 55:
  1. We don't ever want to be the “friend” that stabs her friends in the back.
  2. May all our words be characterized by wisdom and kindness. (Proverbs 31:26)
  3. When there’s a genuine issue, we kindly go to our friend and resolve the problem sweetly and thoroughly. (Matthew 18:15-17) Many times, our “big deals” are actually misunderstandings.
  4. If your personality clashes with another person’s, ask God for grace. He will give you the maturity to treat the individual who constantly rubs you wrong as nicely as you would treat anyone else.
  5. And, one more tip for the mission field: develop a “duck’s back.” Let the water run right off. Most criticisms are only rain on our parade. Let those drops of criticism slide right on down to the big pond. Forget them. Live happily anyhow. (Did you ever see a gloomy duck?)
So, when you, like the Psalmist David, want to sprout wings and fly away, remember this verse:

In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul,
Flee as a bird to your mountain?
(Psalm 11:1)

Sister, keep on keeping on! And, may God bless you!


Charity said...

Another great post. Thank you!

Susan Abbett said...

Beautiful images! We have been watching a family of doves in our neighborhood, and also a family of ducks in the river in our village. What beautiful imagery! Thanks!