Reading: Psalm 6
For the director of music. With stringed instruments.
According to sheminith. A psalm of David.
LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.
Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint;
heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony.
My soul is in deep anguish.
How long, LORD, how long?
Turn, LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.
Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
Who praises you from the grave?
I am worn out from my groaning.
All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.
My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes.
Away from me, all you who do evil, for the LORD has heard my weeping.
The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.
All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish;
they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame (NIV).*
Foster’s driveway — photo by David Kitz
The life of a God-follower isn’t all happy days and sunny skies, as some preachers might have you believe. On the contrary, hard times and grief may frequent our way. Does that mean we are out of the will of God? Has God abandoned us during these times of inner turmoil, struggle and hardship?
Judging by the life and experience of David as expressed through the psalms, the answer is a resounding, “No.” God has not abandoned you.
David met with God during these times of difficulty. He poured out his complaint before the LORD. He pleaded with God; he held nothing back. Take a look at some of the keywords in this psalm: agony, anguish, groaning, weeping, tears, and sorrow. David experienced all these emotions. He didn’t bottle them up. He poured them out before the LORD in prayer.
Many believers suffer from a form of spiritual constipation. They are filled with anger, hurt and bitter disappointment. Life has been hard, but they are afraid to take their anguish before God. They put on a brave face for the world and the church, but inwardly they are dying. They need a massive dose of the Psalms of David—psalms of self-emptying.
Fear not; God can handle your anguish and anger. He won’t smite you dead for being honest about your feelings. Here is some sound advice. Are you hurt or feeling broken? Take it to the Lord in prayer. Then take heart from what David says in the conclusion to this psalm, “The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer (v. 9).“
Response: Dear God, I pour out my problems, hurts and struggles before you. Hear my prayer. I know you are a God of mercy. I open myself to you. Amen.
Your Turn: Do some Christians suffer from spiritual constipation? Does heartfelt prayer bring relief? Are you bottling up things that should be released to the Lord?
*New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.
This post by award-winning author David Kitz will be published in book format later in 2020 by Elk Lake Publishing under the title 365 Days through the Psalms.