“My life is down in the dust; give me life through your word. I told you about my life, and you answered me; teach me your statutes. Help me understand the meaning of your precepts so that I can meditate on your wonders. I am weary from grief; strengthen me through your word.”
Sorrow of the soul is a deep affliction. Have you ever felt such pain? Maybe after the death of a loved one or close friend. Maybe in that moment when you realized your life was not going to work out the way you hoped and planned. In a sin-sick world, disappointment and heartache are around every corner. For this reason, Paul declares, “We do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal,” (2 Cor. 4:18).
The psalmist, in Psalm 119, has come again to a point of deep sorrow: “my life is down in the dust,” he writes. “I am weary from grief.” For a broken arm, pain medicine and a trip to the doctor is the path toward healing. But what healing is there for a broken soul? What ointment can soothe the sting of sorrow? The psalmist’s only hope in such despair? “Give me life through your word … strengthen me through your word.”
The Lord is faithful to listen, and to respond: “I told you about my life, and you answered me.” The psalmist anchors his present request on the rock of God’s past faithfulness. He has passed through the treacherous waters of deep sorrow before, and God’s faithfulness to deliver His word steadied the course. God, your Word healed the sorrow of my soul before (v.26); heal the sorrow of my soul today (v.27).
Reviving one’s life and strengthening one’s spirit both come from the reception and application of God’s Word. How regretful it is that in seasons of deep sorrow, Christians usually turn elsewhere first—as if God’s Word is not sufficient to heal all diseases of the sin-sick soul. Or as if the Great Physician would not be pleased to apply the medicine of His Word to those whose faith is weak or whose walk is wandering. Here is good news: there is ointment for the sorrowful soul. There is healing. There is peace. There is joy. There is strength. There is life. You can find it in the Word of God.
What a reminder today!… “I told you about my life, and you answered me . . . give me life through your word . . . strengthen me through your word.” Are you afflicted by the sorrow of the soul? Turn to the Word of God and allow the Great Physician to heal, to strengthen, and to restore.
Grace and Peace,