The Bible is full of messy stories and broken people. David’s life had super highs and devastating lows.
This post reflects on David’s prayer song in Psalm 13. Let’s call his theme “Keeping It Real”.
How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? Psalm 13:1-2 (NIV)
David is beside himself. He is outright distraught. He is deep in the pit of despair. (Remember that scene from “The Princess Bride”?)
Ever wonder why such depressing language is in the Bible? The Bible is not nearly as stiff and self-righteous as some folks imagine it to be. Many of the characters are depicted as more sinner than saint. Can you relate to that? I can.
Reading the rest of Psalm 13 we see David processing his disappointment with God. His emotions are raw and real. He voices his complaint publicly in verse 3-4.
I’ve carried this ton of trouble,
lived with a stomach full of pain.
Long enough my arrogant enemies
have looked down their noses at me.
Look at me God! (Psalm 13:3-4, The Message)
David is having an honest conversation with God. He expresses his true feelings. Then he experiences some relief and revelation.
David chooses to trust in God’s character, to press on by faith. Instead of using his disappointment in an unhealthy way (like running away or escapist behavior) , he resolves his pain by turning it back to God.
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. (Psalm 13:5 NIV)
And he offers himself in worship:
I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me. (Psalm 13:6 NIV)
And this is what we must do, get real with God and work it out.
David’s secret sauce was that he knew he could trust God. He invested time in their relationship. David had a history of “quiet time”, being with, listening to, and worshiping God personally. He had a relationship based on intimacy and revelation.
What worked for David, will work for you and me too.
To live wholeheartedly, we gotta speak the truth about our feelings to God. He can handle it and He welcomes the conversation.