Thursday, January 20, 2011

how long.

"How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
with sorrow in my heart every day?"
Psalm 13:2

I love King David. I love his honesty before a holy God. I love his willingness to talk to God about the agony of the consequences of his sinful rebellion. I love him because, much like the Apostle Paul, I identify with him...

Having come through a season of heinous sin in his own life, David openly agonizes over the consequences in which he is now living. He had committed adultery. He had committed murder. Actions of sinful violence that devastated the lives of others. Actions that he could not ever undo. In that paradoxical moment of repentenace, when you turn from what you have done - the way you have lived, the choices you have made - and towards the Lord, there is both excruciating pain and exhilerating relief. The Lord remembers your sin no more, but we remember the broken hearts, the lives lost.

I imagine David waking up in the middle of the night or in the predawn hours believing, hoping, that it had all been a terrible nightmare... only to realize that he had created the nightmare and in ways, was still living it. The Lord can remove the heavy burden of our guilt and the weight of our condemnation, but the consequences - and the sorrow - remain. I don't know for how long. Neither did he when he wrote:
"How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day?"...


He didn't know the answer, either. But instead of wondering how long, instead of assuming time would heal the self-inflicted wounds of his heart, instead of seeking self-help books or talking to others, he made two critical choices: he cried out to God, and he chose to trust.

"But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because He is good to me."

I love that this is the last last verse of this particular Psalm. I love that it reminds me so much of my own relationship with the Lord. I love that despite all that riddled his past, he trusted in the forgiveness of God and even with a heart full of anguish, he didn't deem himself of unworthy of praising the One who had rescued him. I trust. I will rejoice. I will sing.

Even when our hearts are heavy with anguish and sorrow, even when the gravity of the past weighs on our souls, we can cry out to God, and we can say: I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice. I will sing. He is good to me.

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