Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! Psalm 4:1
When I’m in trouble and need someone to help me, I tend to remember the last time I was in distress and someone came to show me compassion and kindness. The memory of it makes my heart long for it to happen again. You’ve heard women say to one another, “When I’m sick, I just want my mother.” Whether our mother is still living or not, the desire for her to care for us like she once did is so real that it leaves us aching. No matter how old we are, we wish she would come.
This is what David is feeling in this prayer to God. He begs for God to answer him and come to him like He did the last time David was in distress. David is remembering the power of God’s arrival. While the memory is robust, it doesn’t eradicate the need for another miracle.
I can’t live on yesterday’s memories. While they may inspire me and build my faith, my need for God will accompany me until eternity. I will always need to be His child. I will always need a Father. I will always be small. I will always need reminders that He is bigger than my storms. I will always come to the end of myself. I will always need all that He is.
What keeps God coming time after time? His grace. His faithfulness. If He gets tired of hearing distress calls, I’ll be in trouble. But unlike human beings, he is anxious for me to need Him. The more I desire Him, the better he likes it. There’s no such thing as ‘too needy’ with God.
When any of us face an ongoing struggle, the kind that spans years, we have down days when God speaks into our discouragement and gives us the fuel to make it another 24 hours. The next day, however, brings new battles. Though I don’t plan to plummet into unbelief, if things look dire, I can echo David’s cry.
“Be gracious to me, Father, and answer me. Hear my prayer!”