Open your ears, God, to my prayer; don’t pretend you don’t hear me knocking. Come close and whisper your answer. I really need you. I shudder at the mean voice, quail before the evil eye, as they pile on the guilt, stockpile angry slander.
My insides are turned inside out; specters of death have me down. I shake with fear, I shudder from head to foot. “Who will give me wings,” I ask—“wings like a dove?” Get me out of here on dove wings. I want some peace and quiet. I want a walk in the country. I want a cabin in the woods. I’m desperate for a change from rage and stormy weather.
Those aren’t my words. They are the words of King David in Psalm 55:1-8 (MSG). But I can certainly relate to those words, and you probably can too.
If you’re like me (and David), there are times when you feel like God just isn’t listening. Mean voices are rising with guilt and condemnation or angry slander. You feel like you’ve prayed your guts out. You’re battling fear. You just want to fly away, to escape the trial. You want to run off to a cabin in the woods. You need a break from the stormy weather—and you need it now. You’ve tried everything and nothing changes.
You are on the verge of giving up.
Flesh Wars Against Spirit
So, what do you do when you feel like giving up? Do you go on a sleep marathon, hoping to escape the harsh reality? Do you veg out in front of the television with a bag of potato chips and a pint of ice cream (and put on a few pounds), watching anything that will keep your mind off the pain? Do you call your friends to rehearse and rehash the drama, hoping they will have a prophetic word? Do you wallow in self-pity? Do you drown your pillow with tears (Ps. 6:6)? I’ve done all those things, but none of it helps.
So, what should you do when you feel like giving up? You do what David did a few verses later in the same psalm:
“I call to God; God will help me. At dusk, dawn, and noon I sigh deep sighs—he hears, he rescues. My life is well and whole, secure in the middle of danger even while thousands are lined up against me. God hears it all, and from his judge’s bench puts them in their place. But, set in their ways, they won’t change; they pay him no mind. ... Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders—he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out. He’ll never let good people topple into ruin. ... And I trust in you” (Ps. 55:16-19, 22-23).
Quitting Is Not an Option
I know all too well what it feels like to want to give up. I know all too well the temptations to revert to the world’s comfort in the midst of a trial. I know all too well the emotions that come with a raging storm against your family. But quitting is simply not an option. If we lay our weapons down, the devil won’t just forfeit his position and pursue someone else. If we lay our weapons down, we just become an easier target for the enemy. The devil will keep attacking until he’s robbed us of our faith to believe in the goodness of God.
When we feel like giving up, we can take our complaints to God. He can certainly handle it. Like David, we can take our deep sighs to God dusk, dawn and noon. But ultimately, we have to come to the conclusion that God does hear us (Ps. 116:1), that He is working on the situation (Rom. 8:28) and that His grace is sufficient for us (2 Cor. 12:9). Ultimately, we have to conclude God is trustworthy (Ps. 9:10). Ultimately, we have to keep on our whole armor of God so we are able to withstand the attacks of the enemy against our mind and, having done all, stand (Eph. 6:13).
Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders. If He carried David’s load and helped David out—and He did—then He won’t fail you. As trite as it sounds, set your heart to trust in God, and you will not be disappointed (Rom. 10:11). Don’t give up.