Friday, March 14, 2014

Psalm 38 #SheSharesTruth

Psalm 38
(Words in parentheses are my own)

O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
(I've sinned again, Lord.  This time it's really bad.
Please don't let this be the time when it all comes 
crashing down on me.)
For your arrows have pierced me,
and your hand has come down upon me.
(I can feel your disappointment in me, Lord.
I feel the incredible sting of guilt and 
I know you are teaching me to listen, Father.)
Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
my bones have no soundness because of my sin.
(Oh Lord, I feel sick.  My sin has overtaken me
and my body is crumbling.   I know you are 
trying to wake me up.  Why am I so blind?
I cannot stand myself.)
My guilt has overwhelmed me
like a burden too heavy to bear.
(God, I can't even get out of bed today.
I cannot bear the weight of my sin.)
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.
(Lord, I know I am disgusting.  I know everyone knows
what I have done, so I hang my head low and hope
no one notices me.  I never smile, Lord, because 
smiling is too painful.  I am far too sinful to 
deserve to feel happy.  
My heart is broken, God.)
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.
(I am so alone, Lord.  My hearts longs for a caring friend,
but my neighbors avoid me for fear of what the community
will say about them if they reach out to me.
I cannot even entertain the thought of leaving the house,
Lord.  I know I look battered and beaten down by life.
My sins have made me an outcast and I daresay
I deserve it.  I know you see me and I hate what you see.)
Those who seek my life set their traps;
those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
all day long they plot deception.
(I hear their murmurings, their whispers.
I sense their stares and I know they
want to watch me destroy myself.)
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 am too ashamed to seek out your voice, Lord.
I cannot speak the words you have given me.
I spend my days ignoring their whispers
and I don't respond to their accusations.)
I will 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."
(I know you will help me through this, Abba.
I know you will hear my cry if I will just 
open my mouth!  Father, my fear is that 
if I remain in this sin, this guilt, 
then it will be easier for me to continue 
sinning than to take the initiative to 
turn my life around.
God, if it's all going to crash down on me, 
please don't let my neighbors and friends
abuse me with their words.
Lift me up, Lord.)
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.
(I can feel it coming, Lord.  I know this is it.
I am opening my mouth, Father!  I confess- 
Here me, Abba! I am ready for change!
Everyone has turned against me-
you are all I have.)
Those who repay my good with evil
slander me when I pursue what is good.
(I am trying to turn my life around, God,
but they are still pecking at me. 
My neighbors still spread lies about me
and talk behind my back.)
O Lord, do not forsake me;
be not far from me, O my God.
Come quickly to help me,
O Lord my Savior.
(I am so alone, Lord!  Please come quickly!
Help me face this world, Lord.  Please do not 
leave me to face these people alone.
I am opening my mouth to ask for help,
please open my hands to accept it.)

Father, my prayer today is that you would be with those
who are suffering through heartbreak.  Lord, we are all
sinners.  Help us to remember that when we look upon
those whose sin is public.  Help us to offer support during
others' dark times instead of abusing them with our stares
and whispers.  Use us to lift them up, to raise their faces
to the heavens and seek you, God.  For none of us are 
without sin, none of us have led perfect lives.  When our
neighbors are down, help us to offer our hand to help
them back up.  Let us not join in the murmurings of the
community, Father.  Give us strength to rise above the norm
and offer our love and support even when it isn't what everyone
else is doing.  Help us to go against the flow.  Help us to love, Abba.
In your name we pray,

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