As move through the Lent season, today I am partnering with my sisters over at She Reads Truth to take a look at a penitential Psalm from David, Psalm 38.
Have you ever experienced a season in life when everything is going is wonderfully and you give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done? You think to yourself, "God must be really pleased with me right now. He is blessing me for all of my accomplishments."
Sisters, I have been there. But this is a very dangerous road. It leads, sometimes quite deceitfully, to legalism. Anything magnificent that we do in this life is because the Spirit reaches through us toward an aching world. It is not of ourselves.
David's Psalm-his petition to God to forgive him for his depraved, sinful state- is like holding up a mirror to the depths of our hearts. We are not worthy. Not a single one of us. None of us are entitled to the grace and mercy God freely gives to those who repent and believe on his name, but because of who He is, because of the very essence of his character and his being, he gives it to us.
David does not ask that he not be punished. He simply asks God to discipline with mercy and not anger. As a father reprimands a child, so God will often let us experience a season of difficulty or consequence to draw us closer to Him. To let us be painfully aware of our need for Him.
As we approach Him, let us be like David. He drowns out the mindless talk of everyone else who is around him saying, "But I, like a deaf man, do not hear; And I am like a mute man who does not open his mouth." (Psalm 38:13 NLT) Instead of trying to defend his reputation or plead his case, he leaves it in the Lord's hands. The safest place to rest.
When we acknowledge our sin and lay it down before God, not trying to hide or excuse it or manipulate Him into overlooking it, we find peace. We can find sweet respite in the assurance that our Savior is just, forgiving, and compassionate.
There in his firm grasp is where our sin, our utter blackness, meets Hope.