Only one time do I remember being afraid while swimming in deep waters. I was in the ocean near a raft when a large wave rolled over me. For a moment, I lost my bearings and couldn’t breathe. I began to panic. I felt helpless. Until I opened my eyes and reached for the raft, I was overwhelmed by the deep waters and the darkness within it.

Many times, though, I have felt like I was drowning in the deep waters of depression. No hope. No light. Just darkness and suffocating overwhelm I was sure would never end. Then God reached down and rescued me. He drew me out of the deep waters and gave me life and hope.

“He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters.” (Psalm 18:16)

“Lord, you have brough light into my life; my God, you light up my darkness.” (Psalm 18:28)

Psalm 18 is David’s response to the Lord rescuing him from all his enemies and from Saul. While I wasn’t in a physical battle like David, my enemy still felt very real. It, too, sought my life. Like David, I learned to increasingly focus on God’s character and his love for me.

Gradually, I began to rely on him and see him as my strength, rock, fortress, savior, shield, protector, salvation, and stronghold (Psalm 18:1-3). I started to understand how he prepares us for the trials (i.e., battles) we’ll face (Psalm 18:34) and how he creates a wide, safe path for us to travel on as he supports and protects us (Psalm 18:35-37).

I may not be a king like David and anointed to lead God’s people, but I know that God is the same now as he was when David relied on him as his enemies pursued him and sought to take his life. God gave me victory over hopelessness and depression just like he gave David victory over his enemies.

“You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies; you save me from violent opponents.” (Psalm 18:48)