Psalm 119 Part II
“My life dissolves and weeps itself away for heaviness; raise me up and strengthen me according to the promises of your word.” Psalm 119: 28
I would like to admit that I sometimes feel overwhelmed by this world, it’s injustice, it’s brokenness and the pain that people have to endure here. It is not often that one stands in front of another, a fellow believer on this journey, and says I just don’t know, but I am doing that now because I feel it is important.
Life can be hard.
It is okay.
I wish someone would have said those words to me long ago. For some reason I thought I needed to act like I had it all together, like I knew something others didn’t, like there was no fear and no worry worth my time. In truth, this place is messed up and there isn’t a heart out there that does not weep at it’s failure.
It is this honesty that draws me again into Psalm 119.
“My heart is breaking with the longing it has for Your ordinances and judgments at all times.” v.20
When we come face to face with pain and heartache often our first reaction is Oh, for fecks-sake! Life isn’t supposed to be this way! (I curse in an Irish accent) The pain goes against all we know to be True and Beautiful, and it SHOULD. This life is not what it was created to be. It is failing the dream. Our astonishment at the pain and heartache around us is our recognition that something is horribly and heartbreakingly wrong. We must acknowledge this in our deepest hearts in order to step into the remedy. Denying the death that surrounds us is turning our backs on those that deserve and are worth our time, gifts, giving and lives. When we let our heart break and long for the ordinances of God, we let it cry out for the dream to be restored, lives to be rebuilt and justice to be had.
“Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors. My earthly life cleaves to the dust; revive and stimulate me according to Your world.” v. 25-26
It is in the stories of God alone that we find the gift of peace, of rest. It is in the promise of God that we find delight and can stand in the light of the great knowing. But, the full glory of this light comes only after our acknowledgment of the darkness. Imagine saying to yourself, God is good without ever having to question whether it was true. Truly, he is, but it is in the deepest cleft of solitude, of loneliness, of disaster that his ultimate magnitude of goodness can be seen. We need so little when we feel that we do not need anything. In scarcity, true scarcity, we find how great he is.
It is not often I talk about the judgment of God, the moments in the past where I have truly felt that I was at the throne of judgment instead of the throne of grace. It is an absolutely destroying feeling, it is truly the cleaving to the dust, aching for something worth holding on to. Can you taste the dry sand? Feel it sticking to your sweat as your mouth longs for one single drop of water? That is it’s feeling.
“I have declared my ways and open my griefs to you…” v.26
I have sat before God, flooded with sadness, drowning in it, and had only those tears to measure my grief. He had to collect each one to know how I truly felt, I had no words to offer. I opened the deep well in those moments. In honesty, in fear, in vulnerability and in unknowing I left my sorrows at his feet.
“…Raise me up and strengthen me according to the promises of your word.” v. 28
It is God alone that raises us up and gives us strength by revealing himself. It is he who shows us the intended way of life and navigates through the shadows. It is he again that holds us together when the world threatens to tear apart. And it is he that we can cry out to when we are overwhelmed with the injustices of this world.