“O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.” (38:9 ESV)
“You know what I long for, Lord; you hear my every sigh.” (38:9 NLT)
“Lord, my longings are sitting in plain sight, my groans an old story to you. My heart’s about to break; I’m a burned-out case.” (38:9 MSG)
One of my favorite things about the psalms is their honesty.
Read any psalm and you will experience space where emotion and theology meet. A space where the writers are fully aware of who they are and who God is. A space where dishonesty has no ground to stand on because the writers have laid their hearts open, fully exposed.
And, personally, I think this type of honesty with God is achieved because the writers – specifically David, author of our psalm today – are so anchored into knowing Who they belong to. They know the relational safety it takes to be able to cry out with the words, “I’m worn out, completely crushed; I groan because of my miserable heart.” (38:8 CEB) and know without doubt that their God hears them.
If you had a good relationship with your parents growing up, do you remember the fights you would have? How you would rip into them because they got onto you for going over your text limits again this month and it was just so unfair because your friends had 100 texts per month and you only had 50*?! And then 2 hours later they were cheering you on at your basketball game?
Think about the safety you had to be able to pour out all you were feeling and know that, at the end of the day, they still loved you.
And then we get into relationship with God and for some reason we think that relationship operates differently.
Even though the Lord saw you miss curfew more times than mom and dad did.
We think we can hide our emotions. We think we need to hide our emotions.
Because if He knows I feel this way then maybe He’ll be mad at me.
Maybe I’ll lose favor in His sight.
Maybe He’ll turn His back on me.
But the longer I live this life with Jesus the more comfortable I become with giving Him all that’s inside of me – my anger, my sadness, my hope, my joy, my loneliness, my gratitude, my longings…my self.
Because God has proven Himself faithful in my life, He is the safest relationship I have.
It’s terrifying as hell to know this kind of safety, because knowing this kind of safety means I have to do something with it.
I have to trust Him.
My sighing is not hidden from Him.
My delight is not hidden from Him.
My hope is not hidden from Him.
My despair is not hidden from Him.
All of me is before Him.
I don’t have a tidy way to wrap this one up. I’ve got adrenaline running at 120mph right now and am about to go see a Tony Award winning musical in leggings and a Walmart t-shirt.
So I guess I’ll end it with this: what a gift to have the writers of the psalms leading the way, teaching me (us) what it means to bring our full selves to the Lord, knowing that He sees, knows, and takes great delight when we lay our hearts bear before Him.
*if you don’t know what I’m referring to here, we have nothing in common