A Psalm to Share (Psalm 38)

Most of the time, sin in our lives has a way of rearing it’s ugly head in quite an obvious fashion. I see it, you see it.

Muck smeared all around.

But sometimes, it’s sin of the more hidden variety, subtly slithering beneath the surface. Maybe you don’t see it. But I see it, and most importantly, God always does.

Coming out of a year of very public ministry, there were many sin-slathered moments of which you and I were very much aware. But there were also many things that you did not see. And if I’m honest, part of me wants to make sure you know that I didn’t do it very well a lot of the time, and that there was much more ugliness in it than you could have ever imagined.

My heart grieves over these hidden sins, the foulness of their taste in my mouth. Their tendency to mark all as a waste, instead of the grace upon grace of my God through it all. There were so many beautiful and pure moments, but I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t address the ugly with Him as well. There was so much accelerated growth that transpired, but it would be a travesty to ignore the places uncovered in need of more chiseling. 

And this is not a plea for words meant to tickle the ears, but the raw and very honest truth.

So then I stumble across this Psalm. Words written thousands of years prior to this moment, but Words that remain just as true as ever. And once again, I’m struck with the way the Word precisely captures my heart condition, precisely articulates my yearnings.

Friends, only God’s Word can do that…

So for you today, a little piece of my heart and David’s and maybe a piece of yours as well…

“O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath! For your arrows have sunk into me, and your hand has come down on me. There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and fester because of my foolishness, I am utterly bowed down and prostrate; all the day I go about mourning. For my sides are filled with burning, and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart. O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eyes–it also has gone from me….” (Psalm 38: 1-10)

But for you, O LORD, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer….For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever before me. I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sinDo not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!” (vs 15, 17-18, 21-22)

In my flesh, in my bones, there is no soundness our health, just stinking, rotting self.

But in Him, there is hope worth waiting on. God, who is my salvation, never forsaking and always near.

And the beauty?

He knows our deep longings to walk in purity. To live abundantly, keeping in step with His Spirit. And He hears our sighing in the sorriness of our sins.

Through it all, He is right there, ever near. Lavishing on us unending forgiveness and extravagant grace.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight, making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Ephesians 1:7-10)

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