A television commercial asks, “What do you reach for when you’re stressed?” Then it suggests, “Reach for [our product].”

The number of ways people try to deal with serious stresses in life are as numerous as there are people. Having a drink. Blaming God. Stuffing ourselves with food. Keeping our feelings inside. Blaming others. These responses might calm us, but they’re just a temporary means of escaping our problems. No product we reach for can take them away.

In Psalm 55, King David described his desire to escape from his difficulties: “My heart is severely pained within me . . . . Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest” (vv.4,6). After the betrayal of his friend and counselor Ahithophel, who had gone to help his enemy, David wanted to get away (vv.12-13; see 2 Sam. 15). In this psalm he tells us that he reached out to God in his pain (vv.4-5,16).

What do we reach for? Author Susan Lenzkes suggests that we reach out to the Lord and pour out our heart to Him. She writes, “It’s all right—questions, pain, and stabbing anger can be poured out to the Infinite One and He will not be damaged. . . . For we beat on His chest from within the circle of His arms.”