Have you (or do you) had/have someone in your life who you can count on to “kick you when you’re down?” Maybe not overtly, but with the “I knew that would happen” and “I told you so.”
It hurts. You already feel defeated/humiliated/scared/hopeless; and now your failure is acknowledged by others.
I am so thankful that God is not that person. Not at all. And He is the ONLY one who has the absolute right to be that way.
O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath. 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. Psalm 6:1-3
The psalmist isn’t begging “please please please don’t,” but praying with the hope and the assurance that God will be gracious. He is saying, “God, I know I have messed up, and now I am feeling the consequences. I’m feeling awful; I need you!”
Been there. The only thing worse is when I felt like I could not approach my God with my sin. Like I had to “fix it” before I came back to Him. Those were such hopeless and defeated times. Times when I felt I had nowhere to turn for acceptance and peace.
And it was a lie straight from hell. Jesus was there all the time, not with a wagging finger and “I told you so. . .” but with steadfast love and mercy.
Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love. For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise? I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears, I drench my couch with my weeping. My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes. Psalm 6:4-7
There comes a point when you just plain get tired of crying. When it’s time to get up and get moving again. But not in “pull up your bootstraps and try to be perfect” fashion, but in the confidence of God’s love, of the gospel.
Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping. The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer. . .Psalm 6:8-9
Often the “workers of evil” in my life are my own lying thoughts of condemnation and uselessness. “Taking every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10) means that I must filter through God’s truth no matter what I feel. And then declare —
The Lord hears my weeping. He knows my sorrows. He cares.
The Lord has heard my plea. He wants me to ask for help. He is there for me.
The Lord accepts my prayer. He doesn’t ridicule me for not being perfect. He doesn’t berate me. He accepts my prayer for help. He accepts me.
And I am so grateful.