We enter the wilderness purposefully for discipline and recentering … or we are ushered there by life or by the Lord. In another sense, we are always in the wilderness. We are always journeying, asking, wondering, running from something, needy, hiding, thirsty, not yet safe, not yet fulfilled.
Psalm 143 reminds us of this. It also reminds us that we have enemies to grapple with, and we can ask to be saved from them. Sometimes our enemies are people who hope we fail, or are glad when we do, and try to trip us up—other humans, as in need of God’s mercy as we are. Sometimes those enemies are in our imaginations. Out of pain or fear we think others are in some way out to get us. Like the Israelite widow, whose son suddenly died, we may blame the wrong person, or even God.
Christian tradition has given the “others” many names, including false self, sickness, death, demons, principalities, powers, etc. The adversary himself, Satan, appears to Jesus at the end of his 40 days in the wilderness, weak, alone, bearing the quiet authority of God, and Jesus sent the enemy packing. Jesus prayed Psalm 143. And we can pray it too, with total honesty, without needing to be correct, with trust in the Father.
Grant me grace to love what You command and desire what You promise that among the swift and varied changes of the world my heart may be sure it’s fixed where true joys are to be found.
Without letting up, criticism, worry, deadlines, a difficult relationship, an intrusive thought, whether these troubles seem to come from outside, from within, or both, ask God for deliverance. Don’t worry about being polite or theologically correct. Focus on being honest, trusting that He knows how to answer you.