Nov 10 Daily Rhythms
I said, “I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle, so long as the wicked are in my presence.” I was mute and silent; I held my peace to no avail, and my distress grew worse. My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: “O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!
You are brief. Say it. Say it out loud. “I am brief.” This is the prayer the Psalmist is praying, “God remind me that I am brief.” Turmoil comes because we forget this. Rest, rest in Christ today. Your life will pass soon enough. There is another who holds your days and your eternity in the palm of his hand. If you trust that ONE, this truth can bring you peace and freedom.
Psa. 39:7 -11
“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you. Deliver me from all my transgressions. Do not make me the scorn of the fool! I am mute; I do not open my mouth, for it is you who have done it. Remove your stroke from me; I am spent by the hostility of your hand. When you discipline a man with rebukes for sin, you consume like a moth what is dear to him; surely all mankind is a mere breath!
Imagine yourself standing before God. The Holy of Holies, the Ancient of Days, The Alpha and the Omega. Now say I don’t deserve to suffer for my sin. Hard isn’t it? But it’s ok. The point of the story of the Bible and here in this Psalm is that you do. Even though you should barely matter, you should suffer and die and be done with, yet God has chosen out of love to regard you as his. Pray. Thank God for his mercy. Thank him that he has decided to love you for this brief moment of life and into the forever.
Psa. 39:12 -13
“Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers. Look away from me, that I may smile again, before I depart and am no more!”
Such a fascinating play on the language. “Hear me, look away from me.” The Psalmist recognizes in this Psalm one of the oldest reasons humans tend to hate God. He sees us. We can choose to come clean when he does. To say “yes, I am a mess, help” or to say “how dare you look.” I suppose some of us who are really bold (or just ignorant) might try this “what do you mean?” As you lie down tonight to sleep pray these words, “God, I know that I am temporary. Help me to accept this reality, help me to feel your presence and your acceptance. Help me to live as a person briefly passing through. And welcome me soon into the new creation.”