“Waking up to a beautiful sunrise is so promising. The air is quiet. Birds are beginning to stir in their nests. The moon is fading away as the sun’s rays quietly take over the sky”, wrote an unknown devotional writer.
“It’s as if God hit the restart button and we are powering up for a new day, a new beginning. Our batteries are charged, the things of yesterday are gone, and God is unveiling a chance to start anew.”
That’s a wonderful, promising, and comforting thought. And oftentimes a night’s rest and a fresh start are all we need to muster the strength to meet life’s challenges.
However, there are times in our lives, when we wake up and realize our problems are still present. They may be physical, mental, emotional, financial or spiritual.
But the pain hasn’t subsided. The hurt is real. The problems are pressing. And the burden is hard to bear.
Our passage today speaks of such a time in the Psalmist’s life. “Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord,” he pleads.
He feels like he’s drowning. He’s in over his head. Sinking. Overwhelmed. And inundated. We’re not sure if the writer is speaking of sins of the nation, or his personal sins, but either way he figuratively feels engulfed in this distress.
It reminds me of James Rowe’s hymn that begins with these familiar words:
I was sinking deep in sin,
Far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within,
Sinking to rise no more;
Today you may feel like you are sinking in sin. Or…
…Drowning in debt.
…Suffocating in an unhealthy environment.
…Submerged by a seemingly impossible situation
…Overpowered in a toxic relationship.
…Flooded by frightful feelings.
…Engulfed in a downward negative cycle.
…Swamped by too much to do.
…Deluged by a daily cycle of bad news.
…Overwhelmed by worry.
Like the Psalmist, we need to cry out to the Lord for help.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.
God’s Word promises “the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers” (I Pet. 3:12). And it assures us that “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (Jas. 5:16).
Furthermore, the Psalmist learned to “wait for the Lord.” This is very difficult. We all hate to wait. But, it is a necessary component in finding relief.
As the Psalmist David faced trouble and trial in his life, he often wrote about waiting. He equated his confidence, courage, and trust in the Lord with waiting.
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!
This is good advice when we are dealing with sickness and suffering. Or personal problems. And during this time of national and international distress.
We wait on the Lord because He is the everlasting God. He is our Creator. And He is all-powerful. We wait, believing that God is not just a mere spectator of our pain, but a loving, merciful, and compassionate benefactor who hears our cries. Knows our hurts. And will relieve our suffering.
This Psalm, as Warren Wiersbe describes it, moves from death to life. From guilt to forgiveness. From darkness to light. And from bondage to freedom.
Yes, a better day is coming. Help is on the way. Hope is over the horizon. There will be a morning of joy. Of forgiveness. Of redemption. Of God’s grace and mercy.
Hold on. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Don’t give out.
God loves you. And will lift you up out of the submerging flood.
–Ken Weliever, The Preahcerman