Niggles to Giggles

Sometimes it is only a niggly feeling of disquiet. Sometimes it is an overwhelming sense of disaster. Most of the time it is something in between those two things. Fear stalks us every day. It's the smell of overheated wiring that might led to a fire. They say that most of the things we fear never happen. But then they sometimes DO happen. We try to be brave and "put on a happy face" but inside the niggle becomes a gnaw and the gnaw becomes a full-blown chomp.

David knew the feeling. Psalm 56 describes his thoughts when the Philistines grabbed him in Gath. "...they are always plotting to harm me. They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, eager to take my life" (vss. 5, 6).

For most of us a physical enemy is not a factor in life. But then there are illnesses, loneliness, financial concerns, family tensions, and a host of other things that press down and the niggle begins. And if we don't catch the niggle, the gnaw is harder to deal with, and the chomp can be overwhelming.

David's formula for niggles? "When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?" (vss. 3, 4). He repeats this same statement a little later (vss. 10, 11) as though to remind himself.

Beside these verses in my Bible is a hand-written note: "can't see God for men." Ah, that's it! What will so-and-so think? What will so-and-so do? What will so-and-so say? What if such-and-such happens?

It needs to be the other way around: "can't see men for GOD."

It's not that David is unaware of the danger he faces. It's just that he is more aware of the God he serves.

"I am under vows to you, O God, I will present my thank offerings to you. For you have delivered my soul from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life" (vss. 12-13).

There is a sense here of David looking beyond the present dangers, the current reasons to be afraid. He looks at God and the relationship that he has with God. He understands what God has already done and realizes how small the trouble is compared to the Almighty's purposes and provision for him. He wants to keep walking rightly no matter what circumstances come into his life.

Lord, I pray that I will, like David, be able say as he did that I can't see the smallness of men and whatever fear they might instill in me, in the light of the greatness of Almighty God.

That's turning a niggle into a giggle!


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