Despair, or Hope?
"Show me, Lord, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
even those who seem secure.
“Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;
in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth
without knowing whose it will finally be.
“But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.
Save me from all my transgressions;
do not make me the scorn of fools.
At this point, you may have heard this ad nauseum. Nevertheless, it's times like these that we end up echoing the prayer David prays here; or we are at least extremely aware of the truth in this prayer.
In the midst of difficult circumstances, David makes a difficult request and then a difficult choice.
1) He asks for perspective. He doesn't try to just "think more positive thoughts" or act like it'll all be over soon. He recognizes the difficulty and from there, he asks God for perspective. Out of the overflow of this perspective, David is able to make a powerful choice.
2) He chooses to put his hope in God. "Hope" can often be a mask for denial. It is only out of the overflow of the perspective David gains here that he can have true hope. When faced with difficulty and the fragility of life as we know it, he resolves to hope in God. Not because it's easy, but because it's all he can do.
Maybe you're experiencing some of these same feelings. Let's pray and wrestle through them together.
God, I pray in alignment with David's prayer here in Psalm 39. I recognize that life is fragile and difficulties come. Please teach me to put my hope in You in the midst of it.
Reflect. What could a resolve to authentic hope in God look like in your life right now? Remember, authentic hope doesn't minimize or avoid the reality of difficulties. It simply invites God to be in the midst of it.