Pressure-Cooker Living: De-Stress with King David

by Julie Barrier

What makes you squirm? Crushing debt? Wayward kids? A delayed diagnosis? God our Father often allows us to squirm to teach us how to trust.

My baby Bronwyn burst forth from my womb with an ear-splitting scream, sporting a waxy black mohawk. I tried to tame her wild baby fuzz with hairspray and barrettes. Bronwyn loathed any basic hygiene or dressing. She loved to remain naked and stinky. In desperation, I created a vice by holding her between my knees (a great inner thigh workout) and pulling a brush through her matted, knotty pigtails. She always managed to wriggle her way out of my reach. Finally I resorted to ball caps and a gender-neutral buzz cut.

King David spent his early adult life running from half-crazed King Saul and his henchmen. Talk about living in a pressure cooker! He finally hid his kin and renegade soldiers in Philistine enemy territory. Every night David went to sleep with one eye open, fearing Saul would slit his throat if he snoozed too soundly.

You may be surprised to learn that God loves to make us squirm. We learn satisfaction and spirituality in tough situations. I don’t know your pressure points. But I can tell you how David found peace. He penned his precious prayer of contentment in Psalm 131’s three verses.

Verse one denounces the sin of self-importance.

“Lord, I have given up my pride and turned away from my arrogance.” GNV

Pride, self-importance, creates a myopic world. You and your problems are the center of the universe. Every trial looks huge, and God seems far away and small. Fearful and self-absorbed, you may feel your life is careening out of control. David reminds you not to take yourself so seriously. Our God is unbelievably powerful, supervising gazillions of galaxies. He can hold you in His strong arms and protect you. Get off your high horse and humble yourself before Him.

Verse two paints a precious portrait of a child resting in his mother’s arms, lying quietly on her chest. Fighting, wiggling and squirming have ceased. The child gazes adoringly into his mother’s eyes. When Bronwyn was a toddler, pacifiers were a waste of time. Mobiles were boring. Rocking was useless. She raced around the house pulling toilet paper off the rolls, trying to drink bleach and sticking her finger into nearby light sockets. Finally, she fell into my arms in an exhausted heap and slept soundly and contentedly. When we cease our self-effort and flop into Jesus’ arms, we finally find the “rest of faith.” (Hebrews 4:9-11)

Psalm 131 concludes with these encouraging words: “Israel, trust in the Lord now and forever!” GNV

Jesus, devastated by the desertion of the multitudes after his hard words “eat my flesh and drink my blood” came to His disciples. Dejected, he asked, “Will you go away, too?” Peter piped up with remarkable words of faith, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You alonehave the words of life.” (John 6:67-68 ) KJV

Have you learned that you have nowhere else to go but Jesus? Stop struggling. Quit squirming. Eat some humble pie. Collapse into the waiting arms of your Savior and rest in faith!


Psalm 131

Lord, I have given up my pride
    and turned away from my arrogance.
I am not concerned with great matters
    or with subjects too difficult for me.
Instead, I am content and at peace.
As a child lies quietly in its mother’s arms,
    so my heart is quiet within me.
Israel, trust in the Lord
    now and forever! Good News Version

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