Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord—how long?
Have you ever felt like your life is at low tide? Perhaps you feel that way now. Sometimes we sense that we no longer have the spiritual vitality we once did. Either our own sins or sins committed against us have sapped our strength. Dark clouds seem to overshadow our faith. What was once a devoted zeal has become a distanced formalism, and what we used to enjoy we now merely endure. Such feelings may barely register at first. The waters seem to recede slowly. But the next thing you know, you look down and see the bare ocean floor. The ship of your faith has run aground.
When David wrote Psalm 6, his soul was at low tide. He was stuck in despair, saying, “I am weary with my moaning” (Psalm 6:6), and “My eye wastes away because of grief” (v 7). David’s experience shows that it is not abnormal for us as believers to feel overwhelmed by sin, be it our own or that committed against us.
But hope for a higher tide remains.
David pleads for God to be gracious to him: “Turn [and] deliver my life,” he asks (Psalm 6:4). Living this side of the cross, we know the ultimate source of that deliverance for which David pleaded. There on the cross is mercy without measure. At Calvary, God canceled the record of our sins and shamed our spiritual enemies (Colossians 2:14-15). Yes, Christ’s cross confronts us with our guilt and brings us to our knees—but the grace and mercy that God lavishes on us there also stands us on our feet. The God who encounters our hardened hearts is the same God who grants us repentance (2 Timothy 2:25) and liberates our lips to praise Him.
Because of Christ, God hears all our weeping and despair (Psalm 6:8)—and if we have come to know and love His mercy, then we can claim with David, “The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer” (v 9). We come to Him. We cry to Him. We commit ourselves to Him. No matter how low we are, how guilty we feel, or how hurt by the actions of others we may have been, God can still turn our mourning into dancing and clothe us with gladness (Psalm 30:11).
God doesn’t guarantee that the tide will come rushing back as soon as we cry out to Him. But hope is never far away for those who trust in the Lord. One day—whether today or the first day of our eternity with Him—we will know complete healing of our souls and bodies and, ultimately, an end to all our troubles. God’s timing may be mysterious to us. But the tide will come in and all our troubles will be swept away. The cross declares it.
Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg