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?
When life finds us in those places of utter brokenness and despair, where do we turn or whom do we turn to first? Often our initial efforts are to push through or solve the issues of life in our own strength without first talking with the Lord, seeking His wisdom, direction, and strength to press on. However, here we find the psalmist David first turning to the Lord in what appears to be some moments of shear desperation in which he even says, ‘my bones are in agony.’ He continues further to explain how his soul in in ‘deep anguish’ over something we’re not made aware of, yet we know he longs for it to be lifted from his life as he writes, ‘How long, Lord, how long?’ We much like David, have the same question for God, “How long, O Lord?”, will this prolonged season of suffering, trials, hardship, or pain last in my life. “Will I remain in this all-consuming state of brokenness and despair forever.” The answer to such a question is of course, “No,” as it is not our good, good heavenly Father’s desire for us to live a life with a spirit of constant discouragement, depression, anxiety, or feelings of utter brokenness and hopelessness for our future.
In knowing the character of God, David turns his eyes heavenward and says, ‘Turn, Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.’ He understands that despite his dire circumstances, God’s great love for him remains steadfast and unconditional. David’s desire is to also have the strength to praise his Lord again, however, he knows in his present condition he is not able to shout his praises from the depths of the earth; ‘Among the dead no one proclaims your name. Who praises you from the grave?” David seeks complete restoration, the joy of his salvation, and that out of his circumstances he might bring glory and honor to the name of the Lord once again.
When we find ourselves in such desolate places in our life and faith journey, it may be difficult to even put our feet on the floor to take another step, much less find the strength to move through an entire day. We too, like David, must call out to the Lord with simple prayers like children to their father. Our child-like prayers can be, ‘Help me Lord to take another step, and then the next, and so forth in Your strength, not under my own power.’ In doing so along this journey, God will hear the cries of our brokenness, strengthening our spiritual eyes to see Him clearly again, and then we will find opportunities to praise Him as He saturates our hearts with new hope regardless of life’s circumstances.
Connecting Faith & Life:
Father, thank You for giving us a new day to live, to move, and to have our being as You provide the very breath that we breathe. Thank You Father, for the promise that You hear the cries of our brokenness, when it seems we find ourselves in places of deep despair with little to no hope. In those times, let us turn to You as David did, remembering Your unfailing love for us and Your promise to “never leave us nor forsake us (turn away from us)” Deuteronomy 31:6b. Lord, in You we find both “mercy and grace to help in our time of need” as we approach you with our deepest hurts and heart-felt concerns. (Hebrews 4:16) Help us today, Lord, to take small steps of obedience in Christ toward You where our true source of hope is found. Finally, remind us throughout this day that regardless of the size of each step we take in faith, it is in Your strength that we are able to press on in this journey. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.