“Return, O Lord, and rescue me. Save me because of your unfailing love.
The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will answer my prayer.”
Psalms 6:4, 9 NLT
Psalm 6 is not a cheery Psalm. It describes the sorry state of a man in torment, even to the point of spending nights weeping. A picture of debilitating depression? But there are two nuggets within it, verses 4 and 9. The Psalmist cries out to God for rescue, for salvation, from his predicament, reminding God of His love for him. And a bit later on he records his assurance that his prayers have been heard and that his faith in God will lead to an answer.
My thoughts turn to the countless people who will have woken up this morning, depressed to the point of despair, perhaps after a night of weeping. People not knowing where to turn. Looking at a life, or circumstances, that seem to be without hope. People who are perhaps casualties of the culture in which we live, where secularism and capitalism rule unchallenged, or perhaps they are locked into an incurable medical condition, racked with pain to the point where life is unbearable. I meet people on my morning walks in the community who put on a brave face, making light of situations that, without God, seem hopeless. The lady down the road, always in pain, left almost immobile while she waits for a new hip, her name on a Covid-delayed waiting list. Another lady two doors away, who is bedridden in the final stages of cancer, to the point where her husband has given up work to look after her. There is a lonely man who slowly walks around the park each lunchtime, bowed, it seems, by the weight of the world. And another man, living alone with his pal, an overweight chocolate labrador, that recently needed expensive surgery for which he had to borrow heavily to fund, leaving him worried about the future.
But as a Christian I have a message of hope, and I try and share it with everyone I can. I know about, and feel within me, God’s love for me. I know from my own testimony how gracious, loving and kind He is. I know He, and He alone, has the remedy for a society that has lost its way. Only He has the words of eternal life. Only He has the touch that can bring freedom and healing to those suffering from illnesses or incurable conditions. Sometimes all I can share is an encouraging and positive word, to counter the negative spirits that seem to exude, almost in a tangible way, from people I meet. At other times I find opportunities to share with someone the love of Jesus. And when I do, there is sometimes a flicker of hope crossing their faces, before the circumstances, the negative conditions, crash back in, erasing the message of hope and love like a wave washing away footprints in the sand. But I must keep trying, because the God I know so loved the men and women He created, that He sent His Son Jesus to save them, both in this world and for the next. And He has asked me and entrusted me along with all fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, to share His mission and message of Good News to mankind.
But back to Psalm 6. Here was a man who found God even in negative circumstances. I pray for the people I meet, that this amazing God will be found by them as well, transforming their lives from darkness to light in the process.