Taking My Grief To The Lord (Psalm 39)

PSALM 39

1 To the Chief Musician. To Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. I said, “I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, While the wicked are before me.” 2 I was mute with silence, I held my peace [even] from good; And my sorrow was stirred up. 3 My heart was hot within me; While I was musing, the fire burned. [Then] I spoke with my tongue: 4 “LORD, make me to know my end, And what [is] the measure of my days, [That] I may know how frail I [am]. 5 Indeed, You have made my days [as] handbreadths, And my age [is] as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state [is] but vapor. Selah 6 Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they busy themselves in vain; He heaps up [riches], And does not know who will gather them. 7 “And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope [is] in You. 8 Deliver me from all my transgressions; Do not make me the reproach of the foolish. 9 I was mute, I did not open my mouth, Because it was You who did [it]. 10 Remove Your plague from me; I am consumed by the blow of Your hand. 11 When with rebukes You correct man for iniquity, You make his beauty melt away like a moth; Surely every man [is] vapor. Selah 12 “Hear my prayer, O LORD, And give ear to my cry; Do not be silent at my tears; For I [am] a stranger with You, A sojourner, as all my fathers [were]. 13 Remove Your gaze from me, that I may regain strength, Before I go away and am no more.”

PSALM 39:1-13

TAKING MY GRIEF TO THE LORD

Grief is a difficult thing. Some days it makes us sad, some days we are bitter, or angry, sometimes it comes out as a depression, sometimes we eat to stuff it down inside. Sometimes we fast because even food has lost it’s luster. When we are grieving someone we love we might be tempted to lash out at those who didn’t love them like we think they should have. We might be tempted to say things in our grief that wouldn’t be right, good, or wholesome and can take a tragedy and make it even worse.

It seems like David is in the midst of grief as he prays to the lord to number his days. He sees life as a vapor. And like most of us, he is tempted to let loose his tongue and tell us what he really thinks. But he knows that’s not a good idea. For the sake of honoring God and worshipping the LORD, he needs to be quiet. What he wants to say is probably the truth, but he’d be sinning in saying it or at least saying it in the way that he wants to say it.

He is in the presence of wicked folks and either they will misunderstand it or in getting it out, me might not be able to control the venom that comes with it and he knows that God doesn’t need him to add his two cents. 

There are moments in my life, like David, where I need to show restraint. It is foolish to vent every word that pops into our heads, even if those words are exactly true, but not put forth in a manner that is pleasing to God.  There is wisdom in determining the right time to speak.

You would think that with all of this build up, David would blow up, but rather than blowing up at someone he takes his prayer to the Lord. He requests that God would help him know how short life is. Sometimes we can be tempted to believe that this life is everything and so we might waste our time, energy, and money on short sighted pursuits. 

So David prays “Lord help me to see from your perspective. Help me to see what I don’t see.” David doesn’t have the whole picture. A healthy dose of humility is healthy here. There are moments where we should not speak, but rather take everything to God in prayer. There are sorrows and insights that should only be shared with the LORD.

PRAYER

Father, Help me to see things from your perspective. Help me to see the things I don’t see. Show me how to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me. Show me when to keep silent. Hear me when I express my groanings about everything that is going on in the world. In my grief, give me grace that I might demonstrate the love and compassion of Christ. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

He Hears The Prayers of Troubled Hearts (Psalm 6)

PSALM 6

1 To the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. On an eight-stringed harp. A Psalm of David. O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure. 2 Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I [am] weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled. 3 My soul also is greatly troubled; But You, O LORD–how long? 4 Return, O LORD, deliver me! Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake! 5 For in death [there is] no remembrance of You; In the grave who will give You thanks? 6 I am weary with my groaning; All night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears. 7 My eye wastes away because of grief; It grows old because of all my enemies. 8 Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity; For the LORD has heard the voice of my weeping. 9 The LORD has heard my supplication; The LORD will receive my prayer. 10 Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled; Let them turn back [and] be ashamed suddenly.

PSALM 6:1-10

HE HEARS THE PRAYERS OF TROUBLED HEARTS

Grief is never an easy thing. It turns us into a mess. Our world is suddenly disordered as we try and make sense of the chaos that has entered our lives. It comes at us irrationally. It invades our thoughts with terrible anxieties and causes us pain in places we didn’t know that we could hurt. What must God think of our grief stricken prayers? We know they aren’t very eloquent, we don’t have time or sense for how our words should form sentences that are pleasing to the ear. We just hurt, so we weep and we wail. We know that the theology of our words is probably off center. We want to understand God aright, but all we can see of his beautiful world is the brokenness this side of eternity and so it is with teary eyes we look up to see a blurry vision of who He is?

Does He think we are pathetic? Does he refuse such supplications based on their lack of clarity? Does he tell us to dry up our faces and come back and try it again?

To be honest, sometimes in our grief, He seems silent. A little voice creeps in and whispers, “He doesn’t care about you!” Sometimes it says, “He has abandoned you.” Some times it tells us that we must have brought this all on ourselves, we are to blame for the trouble we see today and if that is the case, why would he ever care to listen to our prayers anyway?

David sees past all these voices that call out to him from the dark night of his grief and trouble. He prays with tears, but also with confidence that God hears his prayers. What a great encouragement it is to know that when we come to God, in the midst of our grief, that He has a way of still hearing our prayers.

PRAYER

Father, thank you that in the midst of our grief and anxieties that you hear our prayers. Thank you that in the moments where I feel near and in the moments that I feel far away that you are present. Give me grace to trust you further than what I can see. Give me grace for the good days when everything is going well and it looks like victory is around the corner. Give me grace for the bad days and sad days when I feel alone and rejected. More than what I feel, I need you to hear my prayers. Thank you the confidence that you do. Thank you for your word that reminds us of who you are on days we are prone to forget. In Jesus Christ, Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.