Some Psalms are very challenging and certainly this is one of them.
Think of the ocean which can be very gentle and welcoming for all of us to paddle safely in on sunny days, wild and challenging to bathers on windy days fierce and overpowering in stormy weather and mighty and destructive in a hurricane or Tsunami. So this psalm reminds us that our life can take the same patterns. We can be going on just fine and then a calamity happens to us or a loved one – nothing too serious but enough to wake us up. Then a “major storm” occurs such as a serious health issue, the death of someone we know and love. But worse events still occur such as the loss of your job and the means to pay the bills, a divorce, the death of a family member and it seems life is like “the breakers of death rolled over me” (verse 4.) When life is like this we can remind ourselves that when “I called to the Lord in my distress” (verse 6) “He heard my voice from his heavenly dwelling” (verse7.)
God is always with us and we often realize that more readily when life is at its most challenging. The seniors who come to the programs we have at our Senior Resource Center often share stories about the challenges of life as they age – death of loved ones, issues dealing with a 95 year old parent who resents everything you do, depression, health issues. But those that have a relationship with God can say “I will call upon the Lord and so shall I be saved from my enemies” (verse 3.) Enemies are not always people but the challenges of life!