When You Have a “Moment”

July 10, 2022

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” Psalm 94:19

I had a  “moment” the other day.

I bet you’ve had your share of “moments” too. 

So, what are these “moments” anyway?

I’m talking about moments when our faith seems to temporarily fly out the window. We feel exasperated, disoriented, and completely overwhelmed. 

And they don’t just happen out of nowhere. They are usually the result of stress that’s been quietly escalating under the surface. 

Perhaps it’s comforting to know that biblical writers weren’t exempt from these feelings. They were people just like us. 

The writer of Psalm 94 is reflecting on such a “moment” in his own life. He writes, “anxiety was great within me,” and “my feet had almost slipped” (Psalm 94:19,18).   

This man was plagued by a multitude of anxious thoughts zigzagging around his mind. He was so distraught that he could hardly stand. Hanging on by a thread, he shares how desperate the situation was, “I would’ve soon dwelt in the silence of death” (verse 17). Translation? He didn’t think he was going to make it

But what triggered his life-threatening “moment?”

Looking at the entire Psalm, we see two main issues:

Watching the wicked oppress the righteous (verses 3-6)

Living under corrupt leadership (verse 20)

Much like we do today, the psalmist lived in a world filled with evil, injustice, and even crooked governments. He was overwhelmed, not only by the mere existence of wickedness but by the fact that wickedness seemed to be winning.

What was most perplexing to him, however, is that it looked as if God was doing nothing about it.

He cries out a familiar refrain, “how long, how long, O Lord, will the wicked be jubilant?” (verse 3)

He pleads with the Lord to “rise up” and take action! (verse 1)

I wonder if you’ve prayed a similar prayer. I wonder if you’ve felt similar feelings.

I wonder if you’ve been so bothered, so frustrated, so heartbroken by the state of our world that you’ve been afflicted by anxiety and pushed to your breaking point.

Take heart.  In the middle of our “moments,” there is something we can do.

It all boils down to how we respond. 

You see, we have a choice on where we run when anxiety kicks in – we can run toward God or away from Him. Running toward God has a way of recalibrating and calming our souls.  

The psalmist runs towards God, “the Rock in whom he takes refuge.”  (verse 22)

Now watch what happens! He experiences the “consolations” of the Lord (verse 19). This word is used to describe the comfort that an infant feels in the presence of his/her mother. What a beautiful picture!   

Like a helpless child, he was soothed and “supported” by the steadfast love of God, the same love that would one day be perfectly and completely manifested in Jesus Christ (Psalm 94:18, Romans 8:35-38).  

While the wickedness in the world didn’t magically disappear, he emerged to face it again with renewed strength, perspective, and joy.  

Here’s the hope for us today: If the psalmist can survive one of his “moments,” we can too.

We can come like a child, crawl into our Father’s lap, and find rest for our souls in our relationship with Him. 

What better moment could we possibly ask for?

Written by Jonathan Munson, Executive Director, RFTH