Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God. Psalm 38:15
Volunteers at a farm animal rescue organization in Australia found a wandering sheep weighed down by more than seventy-five pounds of filthy, matted wool. Rescuers suspected the sheep had been forgotten and lost in the bush for at least five years. Volunteers soothed him through the uncomfortable process of shearing away his heavy fleece. Once freed from his burden, Baarack ate. His legs grew stronger. He became more confident and content as he spent time with his rescuers and the other animals at the sanctuary.
The psalmist David understood the pain of being weighed down with heavy burdens, feeling forgotten and lost, and desperate for a rescue mission. In Psalm 38, David cried out to God. He had experienced isolation, betrayal, and helplessness (vv. 11–14). Still, he prayed with confidence: “Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God” (v. 15). David didn’t deny his predicament or minimize his inner turmoil and physical ailments (vv. 16–20). Instead, he trusted that God would be near and answer him at the right time and in the right way (vv. 21–22).
When we feel weighed down by physical, mental, or emotional burdens, God remains committed to the rescue mission He planned from the day He created us. We can count on His presence when we cry out to Him: “Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior” (v. 22).
How has God revealed His faithfulness when you’ve felt weighed down? How has God used others to comfort and support you?
Gracious God, help me to encourage others who feel weighed down, lost, or forgotten.
In Old Testament poetry, we see two kinds of laments: a corporate or national lament and an individual lament. In a national lament, the singer mourns over the condition of the whole nation. This is seen clearly in much of the book of Jeremiah and most of the book of Lamentations. An individual lament is a personal lament of the singer’s own situation. Psalm 38 falls into the category of an individual lament, as do many of David’s lament psalms, which bear witness to the great difficulties he dealt with much of his life. This psalm doesn’t provide us with the specific context that prompted him to write it, but we do know it includes a prayer for healing from suffering due to his sin (vv. 3–5, 17–18). It could refer to suffering while being pursued by Saul or when his son Absalom sought to drive him from the kingdom.
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