Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.
I remember being a child and asking my parents for 1 million things. I never once made my request from across the room. The five-year-old me would have rushed right to the feet of mom and tugged on her blouse and looked up at her face when making my request. I was right up against her. Going to mom in my need (or want) was not just about running toward the object that could provide. She often said “no”, but I still stayed right there up against her. What I found when I approached her was an intimate place of security even if she denied my request. Despite that denial, I still sought her for comfort from the resulting disappointment. Going to her with my need was a way to establish a necessary intimacy in that relationship.
I read this verse, and I get a picture of David trying to make his way through the wilderness with his life hanging by a thread. He dodges in and out of the caves. He moves from the cover of one rock to another. His life is lived under the cloak of darkness so that he can remain unseen. In all that, he asks for God to be right there. It is as if he is grabbing the hand of God and asking him to accompany him on this journey. He wants God to stay right there because his moment of need is at hand. There is comfort simply in having God close by. David knows that the nearness of the Lord in itself is an answer to his need. He knows that God is everywhere all the time, yet he seeks a tangible closeness.
If we read other writings of David’s, we will see that the intimacy he seeks in this verse is not something he sought just when he was in need. This is the place to be at all times. Going to God in prayer should not require some spiritual relocation of ours. We want to be at his feet all the time. We might not always feel that He is there, and we might not always be able to see his face. In those moments, prayer is not what takes us to the foot of the throne. Prayer is what reminds us we are already there. As this desire for intimacy should be perpetual within us, our prayers should always come from a child at the feet of the Father wanting to be close to him. Father, let us taste a new intimacy with You that we would never leave the foot of your throne.