I was reading Psalms his morning and chapter 55 describes David’s experience of betrayal. In the midst of understandable frustration towards his enemies who had hurt him, he pauses to say,
But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers.” Psalm 55:13-14 NIVhttp://bible.com/111/psa.55.13-14.niv
You can hear the shock and horror in his voice. There has been a tragedy. It wasn’t my enemies who have wounded me; you would expect that.
Proverbs 27:6 says, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” So there is a time and space for our close friends to tell us the hard truth; and we should be thankful.
But this was different. This was someone near me. A trusted friend. My neighbor in church.
Yet, despite the pain and shock of betrayal, this misfortune is met with a beautiful response. David looked up when he wanted to look down.
As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me. God, who is enthroned from of old, who does not change— he will hear them and humble them, because they have no fear of God.” Psalm 55:16-19 NIV
Where to look
Where does our attention go when we’re hurting?
Most of the time, I get self-centered and focused on the wound. Like a little child who scraped his elbow and wants to show everyone the band-aid, I go in search for attention. See my pain! Validate the hurt!
Or maybe your response is despair. You’ve been shell-shocked so many times in your life that you’ve begun to give up.
Or maybe your response is pride. Betrayal just adds to the heap of burning hatred you feel towards society. It’s one more reason that God should wipe this planet clean again. You take on your own “savior mode” and experience the betrayal as injustice toward’s God’s righteous one.
The pain of betrayal can take on so many different tones of response. And let’s be honest, whichever we choose, we feel validated in the response.
But David models looking up when we want to look down.
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22 NIV
He turns towards God, pointing his mind towards the truth of God’s character.
This is how I long to respond. When I’m hurt, I want my reaction to be: “I was wronged. But my God, who is good, will vindicate me and be my source of hope.”
May I look up when I want to look down.