7Come quickly, Lord, and answer me,
for my depression deepens.
Don’t turn away from me,
or I will die.
8Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,
for I am trusting you.
Show me where to walk,
for I give myself to you.
9Rescue me from my enemies, Lord;
I run to you to hide me.
10Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
May your gracious Spirit lead me forward
on a firm footing.
This is one of the reasons I love David so much. He is transparent and raw before the Lord. His songs aren’t just upbeat confessions with a killer guitar solo. He’s willing to go into some minor keys and hang out there a while. He even admits he’s not satisfied with the pace at which God is moving. “Come quickly” he cries out as he sinks into depression. Yet, even there, in the midst of this heavy heart David makes a choice. I’m not going to demand that God matches my pace, I’m going to choose to seek His face. So, David says, if we’re walking through this valley, “show me where to walk”. If we are stopping in the darkness “I run to you to hide me.” If we are climbing an impossible challenge, “Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.” Give me the grace to follow Your pace as I choose to seek Your face.
A pacesetter, sometimes informally called a rabbit, is a runner who leads a middle- or long-distance running event for the first section to ensure a fast time and avoid excessive tactical racing. Pacesetters are frequently employed by race organizers for world record attempts with specific instructions for lap times. A trusted pacesetter is paid to keep the runners at a speed that they can manage for the rest of the race. David is letting God set his pace so he can finish the race. Don’t run ahead and expend all of your energy because you are tired of waiting. Don’t lag because you are tired and have bought into the lie that you are going to lose. Keep pace by staying close to the pacesetter. More often seen in bicycling and car racing there’s another advantage to staying close to the pacesetter- drafting. Drafting is used to reduce wind resistance and help the runner to conserve energy and finish the race strong. Instead of trying to solve my problems, fix my issues, or run from my enemies, I’m going to run with my Savior. I’m no runner, but the idea of letting the Spirit set my pace is speaking to me right now. When panic sets my pace fear steals oxygen from the blood and brings fatigue more quickly. If I'm exhausted in my circumstances its painful proof that fear, rather than faith, has been pushing me in this race.
Lord, thank you for this reminder. Like the Apostle Paul, I want to declare at the end of my days, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim 4:7) To let You set my pace means doing the opposite of what I feel. Sometimes, it means stopping and waiting when what I went to do is surge ahead. Sometimes, it means running all out when I feel like I’ve got nothing left in the tank. Forgive me for my pride and impatience that has convinced me I could run this race on my own, or at the very least in my way. You are the pacesetter in the race and the prize at the end of the race. Whether running, walking, crawling or standing my focus is going to be on You!