Psalm 55:6 (ESV)
And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest;
Psalm 55 begins with a plea for God to show mercy in listening to David’s cry for help. Once again, David is surrounded by enemies. This Psalm does not tell us what the crisis is but it is not unusual for David to be in pickles of some sort, sometimes of his own making, sometimes by the conniving of others. We know that he has been betrayed by a friend (verse 12-14) which makes the pain so much worse. I expect my enemies to plot against me. When it comes from those I have trusted then the damage is multiplied greatly. Verse 16 is the refuge for David. He can go to God even when his friends have betrayed him. The Psalm ends on a great note of hope. David urges all who read to find their refuge in God. This cannot but mean that God has heard David’s cry for help and has answered and supplied relief.
It is verse 6 that we draw our attention to. David expresses a desire to fly away from the problem and be at rest. How real the Psalms are! Who can deny that they are the expressions of the heart of a real man in real life situations? How understanding God is to inspire the heart aches and inner turmoils of men so that they wrote such things that we so easily identify with. Who has not felt like they wanted to fly away from their crisis and go to a place where the crisis did not exist and they could be at peace? Who of us is not even in such a condition today?
If we can taste the reality of life in such expressions of anguish and anxiety; if we can feel the author’s pressure and know that what he is going through is hard because we have been there; if we find hope in the fact that others, such as the writer of this Psalm have experienced the torture of life, then we should also be able to believe and experience the relief that he finds in God, if we are truly His disciples.
The same man who wished that he could fly away and be at rest is the one who encourages his readers to cast their burdens on the Lord and find the stability that God gives those who call upon Him. If we find his grief real, we should also find his worship and consolation in God real as well.
Rejoice that God allowed us into the inner turmoils of David’s trouble filled life. But do not stop there. Find in God the sweet relief that David found. The latter can be as real to you as the former.
How can this not draw us to Christ? The writer to the Hebrews reminds us that Jesus was made like us in every way (minus the sin) so that He might be a faithful and merciful High Priest in service to God (Hebrews 2:17). Jesus knew the temptation of wanting to fly away and be at peace. But He loved doing the will of His Father and He loved us more than the desire for safety. We may cry out to God for help when we are tempted to run and hide, because Jesus came and offered Himself as the only sufficient sacrifice for sin. All our comfort is because Jesus came and saved us through His life, death, and resurrection.