Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Psalm 69:1-5, 30-36 (NRSV)
Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire,
where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
and the flood sweeps over me.
I am weary with my crying;
my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
with waiting for my God.
More in number than the hairs of my head
are those who hate me without cause;
many are those who would destroy me,
my enemies who accuse me falsely.
What I did not steal
must I now restore?
O God, you know my folly;
the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.
I will praise the name of God with a song;
I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
This will please the LORD more than an ox
or a bull with horns and hoofs.
Let the oppressed see it and be glad;
you who seek God, let your hearts revive.
For the LORD hears the needy,
and does not despise his own that are in bonds.
Let heaven and earth praise him,
the seas and everything that moves in them.
For God will save Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah;
and his servants shall live there and possess it;
the children of his servants shall inherit it,
and those who love his name shall live in it.
At one time or another we have all felt overwhelmed by life. The first five verses of this psalm express the feeling of panic, as if we are drowning in all of our problems. There can be sleepless nights of asking, “Why God? Why me? What have I done?” The truth is that probably every human being has gone or will go through very tiring and depressing times. To live means that sometimes we feel as if we could fly from the top of a mountain, but there are other times at which we feel as if we have crashed against the side of the mountain and fallen into the deep valley. We feel even worse when we realize, as the psalmist does in verse 5, that sometimes our own actions are responsible for the situation.
Yet all is not lost! We have hope in God. We do not stay in that dark and lost place forever. In verses 30-36 the psalmist tells us that God hears us. God guides us out of the darkness into the light of a new day. God may not take away the consequences of our actions, but God does help us to learn from our experiences and move on. We can praise God because God loves us so much!
God, help me to listen to your guidance. Sometimes, when I do things under my own guidance, I mess up and suffer the consequences. Please help me to understand your wisdom and apply it to my life. Amen.
Go with God.