Help Me: I’m Sinking

Psalm 69

1 Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. 2 I sink in deep mire, Where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, Where the floods overflow me. 3 I am weary with my crying; My throat is dry; My eyes fail while I wait for my God. 4 Those who hate me without a cause Are more than the hairs of my head; They are mighty who would destroy me, Being my enemies wrongfully; Though I have stolen nothing, I still must restore it. 5 O God, You know my foolishness; And my sins are not hidden from You. 6 Let not those who [c]wait for You, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed because of me; Let not those who seek You be [d]confounded because of me, O God of Israel. 7 Because for Your sake I have borne reproach; Shame has covered my face.
29 But I am poor and sorrowful; Let Your salvation, O God, set me up on high. I will praise the name of God with a song. And will magnify Him with Thanksgiving. 

One of the most helpless feelings a person can endure is the feeling of drowning.  Being in a body of water regardless of size, and to since you’re slowly sinking deeper and deeper as the water begins to go above your head, is unbearable.  No matter how hard a fight you put up, when your body feels the water covering more and more body parts with seemingly no compassion for your desire to escape is torture.

In this text David cries out to God saying “Save me, O God!  For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, Where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, Where the floods overflow me.”  David felt that his life was in danger because the waters of life had come up to his neck, and it was just a matter of time before the rest of him would be consumed. Have you ever felt like you were sinking; drowning in the stresses of your life; weighted down by unmet expectations, depression or bitterness? Then you’ve been where David was, he was sinking in the mire or the mud, clay or wet sand. He was stuck, unable to move and falling deeper and deeper into the muck.

Last year I competed in a Triathlon, an event that combines running, cycling, and swimming.  The first portion of the event is the swim, which for me was the most difficult. Not that I’m a weak swimmer, but of the three exercises it is where I have the least amount of endurance. Swimming requires the use of just about all the muscles groups in your body and it can be exhausting. It was important that while training, my main goal was increasing my endurance in the water.  I had to put yourself in situations that at times made me seem like I was drowning, even while I was the most tired. This helped me to develop stamina and calm in the pool.  What I found was that when I was calm, my breathing was consistent, and I could keep my lungs filled with air. Ultimately, it kept me afloat.

There are two take ways from this text and my swimming experience. I was able to float and succeed during the swim when: 1. When I remained calm in the water, and 2. When my lungs were filled with air. David found the same success in Psalm 69: 13 But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord, in the acceptable time; O God, in the multitude of Your mercy, Hear me in the truth of Your salvation. 14 Deliver me out of the mire, And let me not sink; Let me be delivered from those who hate me, and out of the deep waters. 14 Let not the floodwater up; and let not the pit shut its mouth on me.

1. David Was Able to Remain Calm: Even though he was drowning in the mire around him, he did not try to rescue himself. He prayed to the Lord and trusted him for his deliverance. After the initial fear of drowning, David regrouped, found peace in the Lord (remained calm). So, while I did finish the Triathlon, it was not without difficulty during the swim; I started off just as practiced and really felt great for about a minute. The water was splashing from all the men in the water swimming around me, and where we were the water was very muddy; so much so, you could not see beyond your hands in front of you. This caused me to panic, which resulted in shorter and inconsistent breathing and over exertion of the very muscles I needed to finish the swim. I was stroking, kicking, gasping for air & praying that I would be able to finish. One of the Triathlon safety personnel reminded me of this very important principle that David demonstrated, by yelling to get my attention and saying, “Calm Down.” It was clear & concise, I had to relax in order to catch my breath. I not only had to remember this but continue the process for the LONG reminder of the swim. Like David, I thought I was going to drown; but by remaining calm I was able completed the event.

2. David Was Filled With Breath: David sought the Lord and his heart was filled with God’s Breath of Life; His Holy Spirit. Psalm 69: 29 But I am poor and sorrowful; Let Your salvation, O God, set me up on high. I will praise the name of God with a song. And will magnify Him with Thanksgiving. David went from fearing for his life to praising and magnifying his God. David prayed and was filled with Life by the Spirit of God. It’s just like filling our lungs with air; when our lungs are filled with air, our bodies are able to float (air is lighter than water). After telling me to Calm down, my new best friend (the safety guy) also reminded me to breathe. You see while training, you develop a pattern or rhythm of breathing that not only helps keep your lungs filled with breath (air), but the rhythm helps choreograph your strokes/kicks. That simple reminder helped both me and David rise above the water that would normally drown us.

So, this year with whatever 2019 brings you, remember to calm down and breathe. (Be Calm) Let the Peace of God guard your heart and mind (Phil 4:7). (Breathe) The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty give s me life (Job 33:4)

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