Alongside

“May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!” (Psalm 20:1)

On occasion, even sovereigns slip off crowns and don battle garb; regal wear is not suited for wrestling in wartime.

David bows before the Lord and begs help, conscious that his title topples before the tyrants arrayed against him. Conscious of the pressing needs, David invites priest and people to storm heaven on his behalf. “May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion…may he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans,” (Psalm 20:2,4) they cry to God in unison for their beloved king.

No throne in sight, but troubles still thrust their ugly heads inside our common world. We, too, wage war and require protection from visible foes and invisible forces. Our advanced, computer-savvy chariots and 21st-­century warhorses still quiver and buckle before the attack at hand. Who will help us maneuver through the onslaught? Who will fight for us?

We hear reports from battlefields in distant lands that friends must now withstand enemy advances. As the news filters through, we shudder and then recognize we are capable of brandishing weaponry in their defense. Like David’s gathering we storm heaven with our cries: “Jehovah, answer us in this day of trouble with the saving might of your right hand. May the name of the God of Jacob protect him as he fights leukemia; uphold her as she buckles beneath the weight of anxiety; comfort them as they cower with grief; strengthen her to face her son’s imprisonment; give courage to fight the stronghold of his addiction.”

Kings and commoners alike desperately depend on warriors on the sidelines who courageously join in the battle by entreating Almighty God on their behalf. Our roles are vital to the outcome of the clash. May we keep lifting those we love before the High King no matter how long their “day of trouble” lasts.

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