Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "It Is Well With My Soul"1 (Lyrics)
From the ease of my recliner, my mind wanders to my childhood farm days and that exhilarating feeling of skipping through a wide-open green pasture on a summer day. I am reminded of that endless overhead expanse of sky, where I saw eagles freely soar. It is that feeling of freedom that I think of when I read David's words:
Psalm 18:19a – [The Lord] brought me out into a spacious place. (NIV)
Let's consider David's situation. Earlier in that same psalm, he wrote, "The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me." (Psalm 18:4 NIV) That sounds like the apostle Paul's situation, being "hard pressed on every side … persecuted … struck down". (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NIV)
Hopefully, such horrific dangers evade us. Yet stressors do press against us. It may be a draining relationship. Perhaps societal or religious protocol restrains us in a tight harness. We're familiar with the oppressive warnings of global catastrophe. I sometimes experience dark spiritual forces pressing gloomy thoughts on my mind. Of course, we can be imprisoned by the slavishness of our own sinful bent.
Such oppressive forces work on us like a boa constrictor coiling around our very soul, squeezing out our vitality. It truly makes us desperate for God's way out. And for such distress, we can praise our Lord! That's exactly what draws us into the psalmist's experience of "a spacious place". Note David's words:
"In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. He reached down from on high and took hold of me. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me." (Psalm 18:6a,16a,19 NIV)
Notice those last words: "because he delighted in me". That's a wonderful thought! God delights in me! So then, the "spacious place" is where I, too, can experience God's delight in me. That's not just for special saints like David. That's for you and me, too!
Jesus certainly delighted to be with those often viewed as misfits, and He happily lavished His merciful love on them. I can't begin to comprehend their unspeakable joy in discovering themselves to be so fondly loved — a delight to the Lord.
So then, the "spacious place" is Christ's freeing salvation, experienced by letting God love me. It's like skipping through the field together, with my hand in His, with a breeze of eternity blowing through my hair. It's soaring effortlessly on the air currents of His love. From here — this expansive "spacious place" — I can look back and laugh at those human follies and besetting entanglements that so easily pulled me down. I can let go of that strangling need to try harder, because it's not about my worthiness. It's about God's delight in me. Oh, what a blessed place — that "spacious place"! What a blessed promise for you and for me:
"For the Lord takes delight in his people. The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love." (Psalm 149:4a; 147:11 NIV)
Prayer: Mighty Rescuer, we have no one else in heaven or earth who takes such delight in us. Draw us into the spacious place of Your fondest love. Amen.