Psalm 38. A psalm of David. A petition. That is the heading that precedes the verses. The psalm is an acknowledgement of sin. The physical and emotional descriptions that follow underscore to me that sin is death.
Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
2 Your arrows have pierced me,
and your hand has come down on me.
3 Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.
4 My guilt has overwhelmed me
like a burden too heavy to bear.
5 My wounds fester and are loathsome
because of my sinful folly.
6 I am bowed down and brought very low;
all day long I go about mourning.
7 My back is filled with searing pain;
there is no health in my body.
8 I am feeble and utterly crushed;
I groan in anguish of heart. (Psalm 38:1-8, NIV)
As I continued to read, I became curious about the circumstances of the psalm. I did a quick search. A preview of one link held this: “David Guzik commentary on Psalm 38 describes the only hope a sinner has, who has been forsaken by friends and hunted by enemies: God.”
The only hope.
21 Lord, do not forsake me;
do not be far from me, my God.
22 Come quickly to help me,
my Lord and my Savior. (Psalm 38:21-22, NIV)
The only hope at all.
The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him. (Psalm 37:39-40, NIV)
I’m reading a book called Resilience by Eric Greitens and just finished a section about praying. “I can’t tell anyone else how to pray, but I find myself praying more when things are harder. I also find myself drinking water more when I am thirsty, and eating more when I am hungry, and sleeping more when I am tired. And I’ve finally begun to accept that if I pray more when I am troubled, that’s just as natural.” (191)
Lord, I’m grateful that my prayers reach you. And just like water to quench a thirst, or food to nourish and strengthen, when I am troubled (or any time), I can call to you and it is just as natural.