“I am feeble and severely broken; I groan because of the turmoil of my heart. Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You. My heart pants, my strength fails me; as for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me.” Psalm 38:8–10
Psalm 38 is for all those people that have sinned and feel burdened, perhaps even overburdened, by the weight of the guilt of what they’ve done.
I’ve been blessed in that God has thus far been able to keep me from making those mistakes in my life that have hurt myself, my family, and others in ways that have been nearly impossible to overcome. Most people would look at my life and consider that the I’ve made good choices and avoided the worst of those mistakes common to people. And while all that’s probably true, if you’re playing the “Whose Made The Worst Life Decisions” game; it’s also true that when you consider that God’s called us all to do our best and not just better than someone else you realize that none of us have escaped spending way too much time on the path leading to regret. We’ve all wasted time and made more than our fair share of bad choices.
We can all relate to David’s prayer in verse one, “O Lord, do not rebuke me in your wrath.” When you already can’t stand to look at your own face in the mirror because of the guilt, and you’re afraid to look your friends and family members in the eye because you’re afraid of what you’ll see there, it’s too much to feel that God is distancing himself from you and rejecting you because of your sin.
Verse four details exactly how I’ve felt at times, “For my iniquities have gone over my head.”
It’s like the time before I’d learned to swim and I found myself in water too deep for me to stand in. There I was bobbing up and down just trying to get my next breath, too panicked to call for help.
Sometimes the guilt feels that way. You may be surrounded by people but you can’t call for help and all you can do is just keep trying to come up for air.
Psalm 38 doesn’t get us to the point where David is rejoicing in the comfort and peace he’s found in God’s forgiveness and acceptance. The closest we come to that is in verse fifteen, “For in you, O Lord, I hope; you will hear, O Lord my God.”
Some days the light reflecting from the hope we have in the salvation of the Lord is the only light we have midst the darkness of our guilt. Friends our hope in the Lord will never be disappointed. Once our guilt has fulfilled the purpose for which the Holy Spirit’s conviction inspired it we will once again walk in the freedom and joy of God’s untempered love and acceptance.
What we need to remember while under the weight of conviction is that it too is evidence of the presence of God, for it is God who gives it.
Whether in peace or conviction God is always near. Leading you, molding you, and loving you.