“I said, ‘Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.’” – Psalm 55.6From David King:
I used to be a mean treble! I know, it doesn’t exactly fit the rugby player image, but it is true nonetheless. When I was a student at Whitgift School I was in the Chamber choir – I even did a solo at the school Carol Service in Croydon Minster. To be honest I think that I only scraped in because of my brother, but it meant that I sang alongside some very good singers (including the runner up from the Choir boy of the year competition).
One of the pieces of music which was beloved of trebles was “O for the Wings of a Dove” – I think Aled Jones might have sung it at some point. It is a beautiful piece of music. It expresses that desire, in the midst of chaos, to run away. I know that I’ve felt that desire. There is a deep instinct in us to run away when things are hard. Run away from a situation, a relationship, even life itself. Find salvation in getting away from all that is threatening us.
The psalm from which this song comes goes further though. Running awaytends to leave us empty. It is all about removing. It leaves us in a wilderness-like absence. That is why the singer of the psalm doesn’t find his ultimate hope in running away. Instead a few verses later the singer sings, “As for me, I call to God and the LORD saves me”.
As the pressure builds and it all gets too much and we start running, let’s make sure that we don’t merely run away from the troubles, but instead run towards the Lord.
At the end of the psalm, in v.22, the psalmist sings, “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken”. Who are the righteous? It is those who know that they are unrighteous, have disobeyed God, and have humbly gone to him for mercy, forgiveness and cleansing.
How do I cast my cares on the LORD? I sometimes visualise a box that contains one of the things that is troubling me. I imagine its great weight. I start bouncing it in my hands and then throw it at the Lord.
That is a verse worth learning.
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.