Awake My Soul

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I remember the exact moment this Psalm punched me in the face. We were three days into the summer Residency program at Worship Initiative, and I was looking through the Psalms hoping to find one that would be "cool" to try and write a new song from that afternoon. As I scanned the pages of my Bible, something stood out to me in Psalm 57. As I began to read, I noticed how similar it was to a Mumford and Son's song called "Awake My Soul." "Awake My Soul" was one of my favorite songs for many years, and it has helped me through some difficult times. The song takes the listener through a story of someone who has been lost in the ways of the world, and in response, the second verse comes from a higher being telling the person to give up everything so they can be freed. 


In verse 5 of Psalm 57, David finds himself hiding in a cave, pursued by Saul's armies and even prowling lions waiting to devour him. This moment is his surrender to the true higher being in our lives, God the Father. He says, "Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!" I immediately felt humbled after reading this. I had recently returned home from my freshman year of college, which was full of times when I found myself walking away from God yet, all the while, questioning why I felt so far from Him. When I began reading Psalm 57, I felt God immediately gave me a melody and, even more importantly, showed me what He was teaching me from His Word. 


The passage starts by saying, "Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge." David had spent much of his young life running from terrible things that would quickly push the average person away from God, and David wrestled with trusting God's plan for his life. Even still, he remained faithful and continued to praise God in his hardships. He asks God for mercy and provision. He prays that God will "hide him in the shadow of his wings" (v1). Something that stuck out to me was how frequently the imagery of wings covering us is used in the Psalms. It must've meant something profound to David and the other Psalmists who also chose to write and sing it many times. 


In verse 4, David explains the hardships he is going through to cry out so desperately to the Lord, "My soul is among lions, and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword." We often put ourselves in David's shoes when we are nowhere near the depth of what he was facing. We struggle with little battles that we think are wars and still don't turn to God. David was running for his life and gave everything to God. He then spends the rest of the passage praising God for what he has done for him. 


As Christians in the modern world, we need to stop fighting battles on our own and praise God in times of trouble. Too often, we find ourselves talking about all our problems but not going to God for help. I am so guilty of that so often. I complain about the troubles that come with college, being 10 hours from home, trying to balance music, school, and friendships. But Psalm 57 is a constant reminder that we can praise God even in times of trouble. We may be experiencing the best or worst week of our lives, but turning to God is the only thing that will give us Joy in times of happiness and sorrow.


So, back to where we started, Marcus Mumford writes about a person calling upon a higher figure to "Awake my Soul," and yet David did the same to God Almighty thousands of years ago, recorded right here in the middle of my Bible. If David can trust God when his life is on the line, so can we; when we feel lost, when we feel close, when we feel like it's any other day––because there is only one way to eternal life: through Jesus Christ. Verses 7 and 8 say, "My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody! Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn!" All our problems are nothing compared to Jesus and all He's done for us. Jesus is Enough for you and me today! When we fix our hearts on the Lord, he cares for us. James 1:2-3 tells us, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." 


I pray that as you listen to "Awake My Soul (Psalm 57)", your mind, heart, and soul are fixed only on Christ. He is worthy; you can trust him with your life, no matter your circumstances. Amen.