When You’re in Over Your Head

Date: February 7, 2024

For the Glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life. Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress. Psalm 143:11


It can happen so quickly. One moment you’re splashing in the waves and the next, you’ve been swept out to sea.

You’ve been caught in a riptide—the strong, narrow ocean currents that flow rapidly away from shore…and from safety. In a flash, you can find yourself out in the deep, in way over your head.

Unfortunately, life has riptides. You may be in way over your head today and don’t know what to do. You’re in good company. David, the writer of the Bible’s Psalms once cried out, “I am paralyzed with fear.” But David knew what to do in his panic and despair. He said, “I lift my hands to you in prayer” (Psalm 143:4,6).

You can pray David’s own prayer to God, found in Psalm 143. David prayed:

“Come quickly Lord and answer me…I am trusting you. Show me where to walk for I give myself to you. Rescue me…Lord; I run to you…Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. For the glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life. Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress” (Psalm 143:8-11 excerpted).

When you pray, your focus changes. One leader in the Bible who was faced with a vast attacking army prayed, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chronicles 20:12)

In over your head? Reach out in prayer for the One Who reaches for you and whose limitless power can bring you in safely. Remember, as one writer expressed it, prayer is simply “…communication and communion with the God who loves us more than we could ever hope for, and is closer to us than we could ever imagine.”[1]

[1] Weber, Jill. Even the Sparrow: A Pilgrim’s Guide to Prayer, Trust and Following the Leader, Muddy Pearl, Edinburgh, 2019, p. 7.