PSALM 4: ANSWER ME WHEN I CALL David's cry to God is timeless and achingly familiar and in that, it's comforting to know that his experience >2500 years ago is a lot like our own today.
David asks God how long he'll have to suffer, reminding God that He's answered David's prayers before, that He's given him relief. He demands God hear him. How often have I been in that place? Struggling, agonizing, calling out to God to answer my prayer, anxious for relief.
Comingled with David's pleading is the assertion of truth: That God has answered before and given him relief, that God does hear, that trusting God is the answer, that God is the source of true joy in the midst of whatever is ailing us in the moment. In the end, after his honest pleading and praise, David concludes that whatever else is going on, God alone is the source of safety.
What's accomplished in those times when our prayers seem unheard? I think it's partly what David's repeated trajectory shows us so clearly. It's in those lulls of unanswered prayer that we plead earnestly, draw closer to God, and assert the truth God has shown us and shown up before. The very type of prayer Paul urges centuries later in Philippians 4:6-7.
This kind of anxious agonizing also forces us to lean into God. When all our idols and manipulations fail us, we find HE was there all along.
Whatever you're facing today, whatever "foe" assails you, God remains our resting place, our shield, our source. Cry out, messy, honest, and all that. Keep praying and praising. He hears and relief will come. Amen.