I am worn out from my groaning. Psalm 6:6
Victor Hugo (1802–1885), a poet and novelist during the social and political upheavals of nineteenth-century France, is perhaps best known for his classic Les Miserables. Over a century later, a musical adaptation of his novel has become one of our generation’s most popular productions. This shouldn’t surprise us. As Hugo once said, “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”
The psalmists would have agreed. Their songs and prayers provide us with honest reflections on life and its inevitable pain. They touch us in places we find difficult to access. For example, in Psalm 6:6 David cries out, “I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.”
The fact that such raw honesty is included in the inspired songs of the Scriptures gives us great encouragement. It invites us to bring our fears to God, who welcomes us into His presence for comfort and help. He embraces us in our heartfelt honesty.
Music can give us the ability to express our feelings when words are hard to come by, but whether that expression is sung, prayed, or silently cried, our God reaches into the deepest places in our hearts and gives us His peace.
How would you characterize your prayer life? How does it make you feel to realize that God Himself allows you to come into His presence just as you are?
Thank You, loving God, for welcoming me with all my pain, fear, struggle, and disappointment. Thank You that You don’t want “correct” or “sanitized” prayers, but my honest heart instead.
Some hear David’s words in Psalm 6 echoed in Jesus’ words of anguish in John 12:27 as He anticipated His death on the cross. Both gave reason to believe in the mercies and love of God. Both David and Jesus were surrounded by enemies that came from within their own nation. But whereas David’s personal failures contributed to much of his opposition, Jesus attracted enemies by exposing the hypocrisy of religious leaders. David prays that God would rescue him from death (Psalm 6:4–5), but Jesus’ purpose was to rescue His enemies rather than to be saved from them (John 12:23–26). He endured suffering far greater than David feared. By overcoming the grave, Jesus gave those who hated Him a reason to discover the mercies and everlasting love of God.