Psalm 116

Recently I sat with some people from my church chatting through the whole issue of asking people for help, we all agreed that it was a Good Thing to Do but we all admitted to the real struggle of admitting we can’t actually cope with life all the time. We find things hard, we need help and yet we fear people looking down on us for being weak and we fear being a burden on others. It’s pretty much a pride thing, we don’t like showing our weaknesses to the people around us.  Trouble is that’s what our lives are all about in this community of God thing we are part of. More so that’s what our whole lives with God are all about. Crying out to him for help. Not pulling ourselves up and showing God how great we are at following him or beating ourselves up for being a bit crap. We’re all about crying out for help to our Father.

The Psalmist here seems to have got that a little better than me. He’s looking back, reflecting on a situation where he experienced God’s incredible help, where he came to God in need and God blew him away with mercy, grace, help, compassion, graciousness and kindness. We need these kind of stories to help us in our times of need, we need to see that it’s ok to come to God snotty, broken, needy, incoherent with tears and generally not very together as a person. Just look at the Psalmist as he comes to God. He says he cried out to the Lord in his trouble, he was stumbling, in tears, desperate, overcome by distress and sorrow. Being overcome by distress and sorrow is not pretty, I’ve seen people in this state a couple of times in the last few months and it’s messy, it’s incoherent and it’s broken. But what does he do in this state? He cries to the Lord. Like a kid who’s fallen over runs to his Mum inconsolable for comfort he cries to the Lord. Like a small child calling out in the middle of the night for help after a bad dream he cries to the Lord.

I imagine it wasn’t a well put together reasonable prayer.  I imagine he cried out in desperation to his Father. He probably didn’t say, Lord save me, but I’m not very worthy of being saved and that’s a selfish prayer anyway, save all the other people suffering in this world. No, he knew what a state he was in and cried to the Lord to save, it’s not selfish to ask your Dad for help.

What did he find? This is what we need to know in these desperate times, what is the Lord like? Will he come good? This God is gracious, compassionate, he delivers the Psalmist, he wipes away the tears and he enables him to stand on solid ground again.   We have a Dad who cares, who isn’t afraid of snotty crying balls curled up on the floor crying out in agony unable to voice their request. We have a Dad who knows we are weak and is waiting for us to realise that as well, who will hear our cries, who will deliver our eyes from tears and our feet from stumbling that we may walk before him in the land of the living.

Where do we need to do this in our lives right now? What are we resisting calling out to God about in our lives? Why? Are we too proud? Are we tired of asking? Are we fearful that he won’t deliver us?

The Psalmist’s story ends with praise, with recommitment to this God who has saved him from distress and sorrow. He rededicates his life to the God who is gracious and compassionate. He lifts up the cup of salvation and calls on the name of the Lord, he stays in communion with God and he walks with him in the land of the living.

To Ponder: 

Life with our Father looks like this, crying out to him and walking with him. Where are we struggling with these today? Talk to Him about that.

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3 Responses to Psalm 116

  1. Peter Nelson says:

    Thanks for this Kath. I really enjoyed reading – it’s very encouraging. Also, I thought you might be interested to know – Bono refers to this Psalm in one of my YouTube ‘Favorites’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OJk8SJ_FNQ&feature=BFa&list=FLu9Ao53ox4N5E5_NKeNRKVg&lf=plpp_video

  2. Sameer says:

    PilgrimKath,

    Thanks for sharing this. So weirdly coincidental (or God-incidental?) that it made me laugh….

    Whilst reading this blog post, the song “Cry out to Jesus” came up on my music player. You may know it. Check out the link below and listen to the words.

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