Scripture: “But I am like a deaf man; I do not hear, like a mute man who does not open his mouth. I have become like a man who does not hear, and in whose mouth are no rebukes.
But for You O Lord, do I wait; it is You O Lord my God, who will answer. For I said: “Only let them not rejoice over me when my foot slips!”
(reflecting) For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever before me. I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin.
But—my foes are vigorous, they are mighty, and many are those who hate me wrongfully. Those who render me evil for good accuse me because I follow after good.
Do not forsake me, O Lord! O my God: be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation! (Ps 38:13-22)
Observation: From good times to bad: If I wanted to find one book in the Bible to model/imitate godliness with, it would be Psalms. David doesn’t hold anything back…
Analysis: How many people have I come in contact with that think a “good, positive outlook” should be the norm of exhibiting Christianity? Happy is good and proper religion; sad is not.
Over my few decades? More than I care to admit. To be fair, I was in that throng of folks for a long time. Have I been miraculously delivered from “happy” to “real?” I admit: that is a dumb question.
Happy or otherwise emotion isn’t a binary evidence of being a good Christian. Like David writes above, sadness, despair, sorrow, and other synonyms are part and parcel of life. It is what is done with it that is the issue to be faced.
David is describing what may be a major conflict. It might be a minor disagreement. Whatever it is, it is driving him to his figurative knees and letting loose with a cry to God: “Look at these guys! How am I going to overcome them? I am like a deaf man, I cannot hear You God, I cannot see You God. Protect me, help me. Be my salvation!”
Stuff like this could be accurately called trials. Although, to get the definition correct, God doesn’t give us trials for Him to see if I would succeed or fail. He gives them so I could perceive where I succeed or fail. God already knows my frame; I am the one who is habitually and periodically blind.
What is my response? Well, being personally candid, I am trying not to short cut the Work of God in my heart. Hard to do because often I want to turn on a dime and like Dudley Dooright, do right. Rooting out unrighteousness is more than a dime’s worth of work. Everyone must figure this one out but “let the Spirit do His work.”
It is called authenticity for a reason.
Prayer: Father, walking the authentic path is difficult. I expose my weaknesses when all I want others to see are what I think are my strengths. I think I realize that I am short cutting maturity when I do that. Help me to be patient through these drills. Help me do them over and over until I lay my heart fully at the foot of the Cross. AMEN