Down but Not Out
Lord God, blot out the thoughts and pressures of life right now so that I can focus on being with You.
Read PSALM 38:1-22
 A psalm of David. A petition. O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.  For your arrows have pierced me, and your hand has come down upon me.  Because of your wrath there is no health in my body; my bones have no soundness because of my sin.  My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.  My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly.  I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning.  My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body.  I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart.  All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.  My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes.  My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away.  Those who seek my life set their traps, those who would harm me talk of my ruin; all day long they plot deception.  I am like a deaf man, who cannot hear, like a mute, who cannot open his mouth;  I have become like a man who does not hear, whose mouth can offer no reply.  I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God.  For I said, “Do not let them gloat or exalt themselves over me when my foot slips.”  For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me.  I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.  Many are those who are my vigorous enemies; those who hate me without reason are numerous.  Those who repay my good with evil slander me when I pursue what is good.  O LORD, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God.  Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat is the root cause of the psalmist's suffering (4,16)?
Whine bag: that was one of our nicknames for our lovely dog, Tipsy. We gave her that name because of her behavior if we didn’t produce food or take her for a walk right on time. There’s a bit of that in the picture of David in this psalm (9). He recounts his woes: God is displeased with him because he has sinned (3); he’s in pain (5-8); his friends avoid him (11); his enemies spend their time plotting against him (12). Could life be any bleaker? Are we now totally depressed after the supreme joy of yesterday’s reading?
Life is like a roller coaster. We all have our ups and downs. David’s secret weapon is that he knows he has done wrong and confesses it (18), seeks God’s help (22), and believes he will receive it (15). We can learn a lot from his honesty with both himself and God. We, too, need to take responsibility for what we have done wrong so that we can start to put things right with God and live out the wonderful life God intends for us. We can trust that The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving
even though we have rebelled against him (Dan. 9:9).
Bring to God anything you have to say you’re sorry for. Then, receive his forgiveness and be joyful and thankful.