“I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. In the path where I walk people have hidden a snare for me. 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. I cry to you, LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. 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.” Psalms 142
So, here you are in a dark, damp, desolate, disgusting cave and you don’t like it. You feel like you are trapped because you are. That's how commitment works, which is why you need to work on your commitments. So when you feel trapped and you don't like the feeling what do you do?
The Psalmist could have given up and turned Himself in to the King and hope for mercy. He could have killed the King and do away with his enemy. But His commitment to His God would allow Him to do neither. So he decided to bear the consequences of His commitment to serve God, even though it was terrible in the cave.
You do what David did:
Complain - “I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble.”
You don’t have to like it in the cave. Who would? David was innocent. He had done nothing to deserve being hunted down like a stray dog, but he had managed to get on the wrong side of an insecure king.
I imagine it would be hard enough to be public enemy number one if you were guilty but it is very unfair to be totally innocent but still have your life totally disrupted.
Pour out your complaint to the Lord. But when you complain, don’t curse the Lord or don’t accuse the Lord. When you complain, let it out and get it over with – keep it short.
Cry – “Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name.”
Being trapped in a cave and having your life completely disrupted is very difficult. Long dark lonely nights in a damp cave can take an emotional toll on a person. The natural way to release emotional pain is to cry out. The Psalmist cried out.
I can think of another innocent Man Who was brutally treated and cried out to God in His agony. His Name was Jesus and He was the Son of God, Who became your Savior. He cried out from the Cross and complained to His Father.
Frankly, most people these days, including Christians bail on their commitments at this point. When they are feeling trapped and life is very uncomfortable they "cave in" rather than stand true to their commitment.
David cried and complained in the cave but did not cave on his commitment. Jesus cried and complained on the Cross but He did not cave-in. How about you? Are you feeling trapped and thinking about caving in on a commitment? This is where character is built and integrity shows. What will you do?
Calm Down and Connect - "LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
Once the Psalmist dealt with his ragged emotions and calmed down, he fixed his focus back on His God and reconnected with his faith. He remembered why he had committed to God in the first place. Just when he felt like getting out he got back in. The good news is that when we can't leave the cave, God can come to us! He can comfort and encourage and strengthen so we don't cave in on our commitments.
If you have feeling trapped in a faith commitment or a family commitment or a financial commitment - you don't have to cave in. The Psalmist proves it!