Week 49 A Desperate Cry for Help

By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)

Week 49

Scripture Readings: Psalms 140-142

Key Scripture Verses: Psalm 142: 4, 7 (NIV, Life Application Bible)

“Look and see, there is no one at my right hand; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.”

“Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.”

Even David who was devoted to God and had great faith sometimes fell into despair. It is a very desperate place to feel that no one cares what happens to you. David was literally cornered by his enemies at times, especially when Saul was searching for him to kill him. Apparently, David wrote this psalm as a prayer when he was hiding out in a cave, seeking relief from his pursuers and seeking refuge.

This prayer is an appeal to God for mercy and relief when he felt he could not continue to go on and that his enemies outnumbered him and were “too strong” for him.

David was hardly a wimp when it came to being a warrior. We should remember that when David was a young shepherd boy, he was the one who came forward to fight Goliath, the gigantic Philistine bully, when no one else dared to. But, even the best soldier can find himself in trouble and needing assistance. He was weary and felt he had no one who cared what happened to him when he wrote this psalm.

But, even though there was no human support for David, he knew that God cared for him. He also had faith that not only did God care, but that God was able to protect him and also give him the strength to go on that he couldn’t muster for himself. He knew that God could “set him free” from his emotional, physical, and spiritual desperation.

Dear readers, I hope you have never felt the desperation of feeling that no one cared for you or your situation; but, realistically, most of us will have times in our lives when we feel alone and that no one cares. I hope these are only fleeting moments, but they are a reality.

I pray that you will keep psalm 142 close and easily accessible. This psalm is a prayer we could all pray when we need God’s love and protection. David knew that God could help him in his desperation and appealed to him—David knew that even though he felt alone, he was never alone as long as God was there. And God would always be there for him.

David also knew that if he worshiped and praised God, if he remembered him when he was in need, that his faith would strengthen and that other people who were righteous in God’s eyes—faithful believers—would rally around him and support him.

May we never feel we are desperately alone; but, if we do, may we remember that God loves us deeply and that his love “endures forever.” May we remember that even in our deepest, darkest moments, we can depend on God to see us through, to provide us with the strength to go on, to comfort us when no one else can or will.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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