It depends upon where you are looking at. When you look at the problem around you, you will feel overwhelmed by it all. When you look at God, you will feel hopeful. When your eyes focus on the problem, you will feel surrounded by the problem but when you turn your eyes to the LORD, you will see that it is God who surrounds you.
Remember David, when he was a shepherd boy, and Goliath came taunting at Israel and the God of Israel? (1 Samuel 17). David did not feel surrounded by the giant or by the army of the enemy. He knew that He was surrounded by God because His eyes are on God.
“Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin; but I come to you in the name of Yahweh of Armies, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.’”– 1 Samuel 17:45 (WEB)
Not a giant and not a whole army of Philistine could make David feel surrounded. His faith told him that God is greater and no one should put down and mock his God. He knew that God is with him in his fight. And, truly, David killed Goliath only with a sling and a stone and Israel won against the Philistines (1 Samuel 17:48-51).
When you focus your eyes on God, He causes you to see His strength and might. In Him, any giant and enemy you face is small compared to the greatness of God.
God surrounds you. It is not always or every day that we feel so near to God. Sometimes, we feel that God is far away from us. At such times we feel surrounded by the cares of life. Then, worry creeps in. Fear can come teasing us. And doubts threaten our peace. But, regardless of what we feel, the truth from God’s Word is that God never leaves us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8, Hebrews 13:5).
Joshua led the people of Israel to battle against Ai. Their tactic was to put an ambush to the people of Ai as commanded by God to Israel through Joshua (Joshua 8). During the ambush, it was amazing how Israel pretended to be fleeing from Ai while others lie in wait for Joshua to give the signal to take ambush and burn the city. And when God told Joshua to stretch out the javeline towards Ai and He will give them victory, Joshua did as God commanded and Ai was completely surrounded (Joshua 8:18).
“The others came out of the city against them, so they were in the middle of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side.”– Joshua 8:22 (WEB)
The enemy was surrounded by Israel. Israel was surrounded by God. The enemy was in the middle of Israel, but Israel was in the middle of God’s presence. They were in the middle of God’s presence because they listened to God and obeyed. In the face of battle and the enemies, Israel was not surrounded by the enemies. The enemy could not surround them because it is God who went with Israel.
When we face great troubles in life, following God and not following Him are what constitute the make or break deal. Once we decide to follow God, we won’t see troubles surrounding us. It does not mean that troubles will be absent. It means that even when troubles are around, we are not surrounded by them. We are not in the middle of the troubles. Instead, we stand in the middle of God’s grace, strength, and presence.
Stay in God’s presence. Walk with Jesus. Seek His will. Look unto Him. Then, even when great troubles arise, you can say, “Yes, I am surrounded! I am surrounded by God!”
“You hem me in behind and before. You laid your hand on me. This knowledge is beyond me. It’s lofty. I can’t attain it. Where could I go from your Spirit? Or where could I flee from your presence? If I ascend up into heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, you are there! If I take the wings of the dawn, and settle in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand will lead me, and your right hand will hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me. The light around me will be night,” even the darkness doesn’t hide from you, but the night shines as the day. The darkness is like light to you.”– Psalms 139:5-12 (WEB)