Reverend Dr. William H. Curtis

I will extol You, O LORD, for You have lifted me up, and have not let my enemies rejoice over me.

Psalm 30:1 NASB

The most striking image in this verse is when David says, “for you have lifted me up.” For us, “lifted up” implies a change of space or a change of posture. Or we may think that David may have been thinking of being lifted from a low place or lifted above his enemies.

However, the Hebrew implies something different. It isn’t describing a change of posture or position. It means that God drew David out of the water. This verse is meant to be interpreted metaphorically.

We shouldn’t expect to feel God’s hand grab us by the arm and pull us out of a terrible circumstance. Instead, it describes the feeling of a bucket being lowered into a deep well, and while we are down there drowning, the Lord takes hold of the rope and lifts us out of the deep well so that we can catch our breath.

Each one of us faces life’s circumstances until we feel like it is snatching our breath. We may wonder how long we can keep our heads above water until our circumstances get the better of us and drown us.

But the God that we serve sends His promise through David in this Psalm. God will never let us drown. He will grab the rope and lift the bucket out of the well so that we can catch our breath no matter how dark it has been.

Sin can make us feel like we are being held under water. Pressure in life can make us feel like this as well. We may feel pressure to perform, to be strong, or to be positive. All of this can make us feel like we’re drowning. The bills have to get paid, the chores have to be handled, a person has to be dealt with, the job still has to get done.

But God loves us, and He wants us to live a life that feels different from a bucket being held under the water. David says that God lifts us up out of these feelings and emotions, and nothing that is holding us down is stronger than God.

God is a deliverer who is ever present. When we feel as though the weight of the world is on our shoulders, I can guarantee that God is always there.