v1 Listen to my prayer, O God.
Do not ignore my cry for help!

v2 Please listen and answer me,
for I am overwhelmed by my troubles.

v3 My enemies shout at me,
making loud and wicked threats.
They bring trouble on me
and angrily hunt me down.

v4 My heart pounds in my chest.
The terror of death assaults me.

v5 Fear and trembling overwhelm me,
and I can’t stop shaking.

v6 Oh, that I had wings like a dove;
then I would fly away and rest

v7 I would fly far away
to the quiet of the wilderness.

v8 How quickly I would escape—
far from this wild storm of hatred.



Look at the words he uses to describe his condition both externally and internally… “Overwhelmed by troubles…shouting, mocking me…threats… trouble me…hunt me down…my heart pounds in my chest…terror of death assaults me…fear and trembling overwhelm me…I can’t stop shaking…this storm of hatred.”


The longing of every heart is REST. His desire is REST.

V 6 -7 – ” Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and REST!

“I would fly far away to the QUIET of the wilderness…”

He wishes he could just fly away from it all to a lonely place, a place of isolation far far away, and REST in solitude. He uses the dove as a symbol. Apparently a dove can fly a long way using just one wing and when it gets tired, it rests that wing and uses the other to continue flying.

The psalmist wants, if he could, to escape to a place far away from his troubles such as in a wilderness where there is plenty of space and no (or few) inhabitants. Even if there are some inhabitants, the wilderness is big enough to find space. There we see the purpose of his fleeing revealed. Ultimately he longs and craves for that which his troubles and circumstances do not give him… REST and relief. The cessation from it all and rest to breathe again where body, soul and mind may cease from tension, where the sinews and muscles, so tight, can cease and relax. A place where the mind and its constant bombardment would cease and rest from the strain and that would be “the new norm.” Oh to have the wing of a dove and fly away, and continue to fly to that elusive place… the place of Rest!

V 8  “…How quickly I would escape…”

He has NO reservations, NO regrets, nothing to cause him to hesitate, or cause him to doubt. He just wanted out of there as quickly as he could as far away as he could. He wanted to “escape” from this place of emotional imprisonment. To escape from the attacks from without and troubles from within. He felt like he was incarcerated, and he just wanted to be…free from it all.

Oh how he longed to be somewhere, far away, safe and secure in a place of rest. How he longed for such freedom, relief, and indeed… rest! Anywhere but here! He had a desire and longing to escape to a place of rest, his desired destination. In the wilderness he thought, like a bird who could take flight to a place away from it all (like a wilderness) and  have ample room there, so he desired that he too could fly away to such a place of freedom, liberty and rest.


When troubles bow the heart, when the mind is under such strain, when the external pressures squeeze, even a bird is to be envied…oh to be able to escape to a place of rest!

It’s interesting in the height of ministry, Jesus said to His followers to “come apart by yourselves to a lonely place and REST awhile.” {Read Mark 6:31}. He knew they needed Rest. Ministry is not more important than people. Sometimes the Godliest thing you can do is come apart and REST. Like strings on a guitar that is wound up too tight that if it continues to be tightened will snap and break. So sometimes too, a life that does not take rest will break! In between every piano note there is a Rest, if not it would not produce the music it does. Rest physically to be able to continue ministering is something that must be learned and this often requires learning to say -” NO.” For a young person starting out in ministry this lesson is best learned early!


The Psalmist desired Rest. The Lord Jesus called His disciples to withdraw for a season from ministering to a lonely place to rest! EMOTIONAL- PHYSICAL- SPIRITUAL REST!

Jesus ultimately is our rest– heart rest for the hurting. Such rest is not found in a place but in a PERSON… Jesus. Fly away to Him. Turn to Him in times of trouble and rest in His character, His faithfulness, His Promises, Himself! There are often times the Godliest thing you can do is to withdraw to a lonely place by yourself and away from it all and allow Him to rejuvenate you so you can continue on in the fight of faith abiding in Him. To abide is to Rest. As Jesus says in John 15: JESUS SAYS…

  • Rest in Me – verse 4

  • Rest in My Word – verse 7

  • Rest in My Love – verse 9-10

He understands your troubles and desires to flee from it all and longings for rest. As we submit to Him He PROMISES-REST for your soul.



“COME to ME, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I WILL GIVE YOU REST, Take My Yoke upon Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you WILL fund REST for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30

Rest is a Person… Jesus is that Person. Come tell Him your troubles submit to Him, all your cares and you will find REST in Him!