With my voice I cry out to the LORD; with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD. I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him. When my spirit faints within me, you know my way! In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me. Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul.” (Psalm 142:1-4 ESV)

There are traps all around us – traps that the world lays, traps that others lay, and traps that we lay ourselves. Throughout our lives we fall in to several of these traps. We may turn our phone, friends, or spouse into an idol, we might turn to addictive behaviors or substances, or fall into some other pattern of sin that leaves us feeling ensnared by its grip. These traps are hard to get out of… that’s why they are called traps. They entice us in by giving us false hope, good promises, or temporary comfort, and then make us feel dependent on them. Unfortunately, traps don’t present the whole story – the implications of the trap and how they will truly affect you and those you love.

Most notably, traps leave us feeling alone and isolated from those around us. The enemy wants this… he works best when we feel alone because then he only has one mind to twist, to confuse, to speak lies to. We look around, like David in the Psalm, and see no one who we can confide in to help us. We feel isolated and trapped, even if we aren’t.

Before long, these traps become so much a part of us that they no longer hold on to us, but we actually start to hold on to them, as we seek comfort and consistency in our lives. Eventually, we become overwhelmed by the weight of these traps and realize that we can’t escape on our own.

“I cry to you, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.’ Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low! Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me! Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name! The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.” (Psalm 142:5-7 ESV)

God is our refuge and strength. He alone gives us the ability to get out of our traps and he gives us various resources to do so – family, friends, pastors, counselors, etc. We may not reach out to God until we are brought low, but there truly is beauty in surrender which is accompanied by freedom and community. The beauty is, God has already set us free from our traps. We may fall into them from time to time, but He is quick to provide forgiveness to His children because of His perfect Son.

Perhaps you are in a trap right now – a small one, or even a big one! You may feel alone, but rest assured that God is there working in ways you can’t even fathom.

Written By: Lindsey Duerr, DCE