What really got my attention was that "angel" is singular and not plural. In my mind when I've seen, read or heard this verse I've interpreted it as the "angels of the Lord" were camped all around me.
I actually had a visual of me sitting by a nice, cozy fire in the middle and thousands of angels surrounding me on all sides. So when I was reading this Psalm last week the fact that it is just the "angel of the Lord" really grabbed my attention. It honestly messed up my picture I had saved in my mind. Just one angel? Is that because I am not important enough for a whole troop? (lol) Or is it because the angel is so powerful - we only have need of one? (Think about that for a bit!)
As I sat here meditating on the solitary angel He as camped around me -- Wait...what? He has one angel - count them - or count it....the angel of the Lord is encamped around me. Let that sink in for a minute - it took me awhile. Once I got rid of the picture of thousands of angels around me - and focused on the fact that there is only one needed....I got a whole new visual.
My campsite disappeared and I tried to picture myself being surrounded by an angel. Seems kinda white and cloud-like fluffy to me! lol -- then I realized my picture had transformed until I could imagine myself in His lap. Think about how you held a small child. You pull them in close to you and wrap your arms around - tucking them into yourself so they are safe and secure. That's how He surrounds us.
Here with His presence surrounding us we find comfort, protection, love, and compassion to make it through the difficult time. Maybe when David wrote this he was very troubled about being chased by Saul and hiding from cave to cave in order to stay alive. Knowing that God was surrounding Him helped him feel safe. He was in a day to day battle with Saul in constant pursuit. It had to wear on him physically and emotionally. He had no where to call "home" and he could not rest anywhere for very long - always moving and trying to stay one step ahead of the one who was trying to kill him.
I think sometimes the caregiver feels like we are caught in that vicious cycle too. David was not in control. As caregivers we have some control but even on the good days we know any little thing can mean a huge mix up. Like David we are trying to stay one step ahead of falling apart, being emotionally distraught, or feeling like we're losing it altogether. On the good days - we stay further ahead than on the bad days.
In the midst of what had to be a very emotional time for David, a time when he was constantly on the run with never a time to relax, he knew the importance of being wrapped in His presence. David was most likely always on guard, always high energy and intense. But he knew how to find the presence of God and worship.
Today I will purposefully stop my fast-paced heart and mind to wait on His presence. My meditation will be on the truth that He surrounds me - encamps all around me - and I will be content with that. (Whether I feel it or not!) On this crazy Monday I will find time to worship, give Him praise - if even for a minute I will focus on Him and realize that He is in my situation with me - around me. Will you join me?