The Locked Stairwell

September 27, 2020
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Listen while you read: "Now The Day Is Over"1 (Lyrics)

As a student, I participated in a job experience program for a few weeks at a local newspaper office. One evening, I took the stairs down to the building lobby instead of the elevator, but as the heavy door latched behind me, I found that it would not reopen. With mounting panic and racing heart, I tried every exit door on the landings below, but each was also locked soundly. My shoulders tightened with fear, and my throat constricted. Finally, the last doorway to the lobby was open, and I burst through it with relief. There was no one around; I might have been trapped in that stairwell for a while before someone heard me.

David, the writer of Psalm 69, knew what it was like to be in big trouble.

Psalm 69:16-17 – Answer my prayers, O Lord, for Your unfailing love is wonderful. Take care of me, for Your mercy is plentiful. Don't hide from Your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in deep trouble! (NLT)

David, feeling that his life was out of control, poured out his despair to God in prayer. Only so much in life is under our control, but if we believe that God is in control continually, do we question His sovereign plans when things don't go the way that we like?

The best response when we feel overwhelmed is to go first to the Lord in prayer.

1 Peter 5:7 – Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. (NLT)

It's a picture of unloading all our troubles into His care, and then just walking away without a backward glance. We can trust God to carry the load, because He is in control, wiser than us, full of mercy, purely righteous, and with an infinite supply of love to give away. Our response is to trust His timing completely for His love and grace to tide us over the problem and to release us from it at the right time. We may not enjoy the waiting period, but we know that He loves to douse us with mercy when it's needed the most.

Psalm 69:30-33 – Then will I praise God's name with singing, and I will honor Him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord. … The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God's help be encouraged. For the Lord hears the cries of the needy; he does not despise his imprisoned people. (NLT)

While we wait for deliverance, His love and mercy can be our focus. Whether caught in a locked stairwell or in a problem that lasts much longer, we can know God like David did, and trust Him for His power and wise purposes. He is there to comfort us in every circumstance. We may get tired of the trials, but He never tires of buoying us up and rescuing us during trying times.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for Jesus' prayer for us during the many trials of life. Hallowed be Your name; Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus gave His own will wholly to You so that Your kingdom came for us. We praise Your name with singing, and honour You with thanksgiving. Amen.

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About the author:

Shirley Moulton <>
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    AMEN! Blessings.

    Good thoughts, Shirley.

    Important reminder. Thanks and blessings, Shirley!

    Shirley, l could hear your heart pounding!
    Good one.

    Thank you, Shirley, for such an interesting story and a wonderful reminder to always completely trust the Lord.

    Thanks, Shirley for powerfully reminding us of God’s mercy and grace today through your own personal experience as well as through scripture. Helps me.

    Hi Shirley,
    What a lovely devotional on trusting God in trials and seeking His presence for rest. Praise Him!

    Thank you. This is a beautiful and precious reminder for those of us with compromised immune systems during this time of covid facing our country. May God bless you abundantly now and always.

    Dear Shirley,
    Thank you for this devotional today. Our Lord is always there for us no matter what circumstance we face in life. We certainly must always be thankful for His watch and care over us.
    Blessings for your very mindful writings.

    Absolutely true. I just had a weekend like that but all during it I sensed an unseen presence until all was well.

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