I know of few other passages in the Scriptures which show as much anguish of soul and as much desperation as Psalm 69. David has reached the point of utter desolation. He writes in verse 2, “I have sunk into deep mire, and there is no foothold. I have come into deep waters, and a flood overwhelms me.” Have you ever been in that place before? You feel so empty, as if there is no way out. Just like David, you feel lonely and afraid. Your closest friends have abandoned you or even broken trust. It’s a tough place to be!
In verse 20, David goes on to say, “Reproach has broken my heart and I am so sick. And I looked for sympathy, but there was none.” What strikes me about this verse is that it seems to hold a level of self-pity. When we go through tough stuff it becomes all too easy for us to play the victim. It’s easy to feel bad for ourselves and to want others around us to also pity us. The truth, however, is that self-pity won’t get you anywhere, and having friends pity you is also not what you need. Empathy? Yes. Sympathy? Not so much.
What I love about David is his ability to be completely real about his emotions and yet to not act on them. Even though he could be honest enough to say he felt let down by God and rejected by peers, he didn’t let it be a way of dictating his life. He didn’t let it be an opportunity for Satan to have a foothold. Instead, he trusted in God and surrendered himself to God’s plan. In verse 13 we read, “But as for me, my prayer is in You, o Lord, at an acceptable time, o God, in the greatness of your loving kindness, answer me with Your saving truth.” And in verse 33 we are given this incredible reminder, “for the Lord hears the needy and does not despise His who are prisoners.” David, like us, was impatient. In verse 17 he says, “answer me quickly!” Yet, we need to rely on God’s timing for His timing is always best. In difficult times it can sometimes feel like God isn’t answering despite how hard we pray or how loud we yell. Just keep being like the persistent widow who was answered not because of her request, but rather because she kept coming back. Be reminded of God’s truths and stay encouraged. Don’t let difficulties in your life be a reason to make everything you ever learned about God and all your convictions go out the window. Instead, seek to grow up in maturity in every way into Christ who is the Head and daily trust that Christ will come to your aid and will not delay. Amen.