Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Psalm 39 (NIV)
For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.
1 I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.” 2 So I remained utterly silent, not even saying anything good. But my anguish increased; 3 my heart grew hot within me. While I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: 4 “Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. 5 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. 6 “Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be. 7 “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. 8 Save me from all my transgressions; do not make me the scorn of fools. 9 I was silent; I would not open my mouth, for you are the one who has done this. 10 Remove your scourge from me; I am overcome by the blow of your hand. 11 When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin, you consume their wealth like a moth— surely everyone is but a breath. 12 “Hear my prayer, Lord, listen to my cry for help; do not be deaf to my weeping. I dwell with you as a foreigner, a stranger, as all my ancestors were. 13 Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again before I depart and am no more.”
Does life ever feel short and empty to you?
Lord, I see people suffering all around me. People try to find fulfillment in many different ways but end up empty because fulfillment can be elusive. The sure way to emptiness is selfishness. When we live selfishly, we will end up by ourselves. Selfish people are mean and wicked. We store up more and more for ourselves, sometimes at the expense of others, without ever knowing who will end up getting all that stuff that we can’t take with us in the end. We work so diligently on life and then it’s gone. Many of our struggles are senseless. I cannot understand how You can allow all that is going on. David was feeling the same way. He was concerned about the suffering that he saw around him and in his own life. He questioned how You could allow it. David thought about the mass of humanity who lived ignoring the shortness and frailty of life. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. In the midst of desperation, it is healthy to tell you about concerns and grievances. David did it. You are near and see the pain and suffering that is going on. You understand the suffering that causes confusion and grief. You experienced the worst of it for us. Life is too short to worry about stupid things. Lord help me to stop worrying if I will have enough money, possessions, or fret about where I will live and what I will do in the future. Let me find fulfillment in Your love and salvation. Allow me to enjoy the life that You gave me by living it for You and with You. Don’t let the little things get me down. Let me see what is important to You now. Let me recognize other people suffering from unfulfillment and how I can lead them to the true fulfillment of the cross. Help me to Pray and Trust in You. My hope is in you. Amen