I see three major parts to the Psalm:
- I have so many enemies.
- God shields me from those enemies and answers my cries for help.
- Therefore, I am not afraid because my victory comes from God.
Even though my purpose isn't really to add to my store of biblical knowledge, the context of David's situation is helpful to me in making this psalm more personal. David really did have so many enemies and when he writes this psalm, he is specifically referring to Absalom, his own son, who had started a revolution against him. So, not only is David dealing with being physically in danger, fleeing, and fighting, he is also dealing with the betrayal of his own son turning against him.
Still, somehow David is able to say confidently that God is protecting him. Beyond that, he says that God is his glory and is helping him to hold his head high. He has 100 percent confidence in God when everything around him that could be construed as a sign is pointing toward being deserted by God.
When I think in those terms, the parallel to my own life is unmistakeable and a psalm that seemed to be relatively irrelevant comes to life. But, there is a huge difference between David and I. There have been many times recently where I have felt desperate and deserted. From years of biblical upbringing, I can say that I believe in my head that God is watching over me, but in reality my faith has been shaken. I did not have that supreme confidence in God as David did and I certainly did not feel victorious. Even now, removed from the situations that caused such acute stress, I feel relief, but not victory. It's like the pressure has been removed, but I'm still wondering, "What was the point?"
Again, I have more questions than answers. Why has God let me feel deserted? Why have I had to deal with all the things that have led me to being so distant from God? Why can't I be like other people (or like I used to be) and feel close to God through struggle? How can I get close to God if I have a hard time trusting that He won't desert me? How can my faith be renewed when I feel let down that all my knowledge of God didn't mesh with my real life experiences?
And, perhaps most importantly, how can I come out of these last several years feeling victorious?