The Cries of a Wounded Heart

“I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.”

(Psalm 6:6, ESV)

Did you know that the largest number of Psalms record the laments or complaints of the people of God? These laments offer God’s people great instruction in the expression of raw human emotions. For this reason, the Psalms can be a source of soothing comfort for those who experience major distress and suffering. Have you ever been so depressed that you thought you could not go on living? Well, the Psalms help us to see that when we find ourselves in the depths of woe we can and should cry out to God. How?

In Psalm 6, for example, David has fallen into deep depression for some reason that is not immediately apparent to us. Perhaps David’s depression is a direct result of a personal sin; perhaps it is a result of his adversaries (6:8, 10). Whatever the source of David’s dismay, we hear him cry out to God in utter desperation.

First we notice the cry for mercy and grace. David pleads with God to withhold His wrath. God’s wrath is what all sin deserves. If David had sinned, he is asking God to be merciful to him in judging his sin. If David had not sinned, then he is merely pleading with God because his suffering seems unbearable. His suffering is such that he feels he is “pining away” (6:2) and wonders how long it will be before God delivers him (6:3). Have you ever felt like that? Have you been in that dark, lonely place where, whether because of your sin or someone else’s, your suffering seems too great to bear?

It is at this point we hear David’s second cry: the cry for deliverance. David is at a point where he no longer senses God’s presence, so he asks God to “return” so that He would rescue him. David knows he does not deserve such salvation, but he knows that God is a covenant God, so he pleads for salvation based on God’s promise to love His covenant people; this is the lovingkindness of God (6:4). Have you ever felt abandoned by God, like God is nowhere to be found? Cry out for God’s deliverance. On the basis of what he has done for us in Christ in the new covenant, we can cry out to Him. If he has not withheld his own Son, how will he not also freely give us all we need to persevere, even in the midst of suffering (Romans 8:32)?

Next, we hear David’s cry of grief. David’s suffering is so great that he is weary of weeping; he has shed so many tears that his bed is ready to float away (6:6); David is so overwhelmed by suffering that his physical strength has left him (6:7). If you have ever been in such a state of depression then you know what David experienced. You know how difficult it is to get out of bed, for you do not have enough strength. You have cried to the point where you think you have no more tears left inside of you, and you wonder if there is anyone to hear your cries; is there anyone who can come to your rescue? The good news is that there is. David understood this, so he offered a final cry of assurance. He recognized that just like every other time in the past that this time also, the Lord heard his weeping; the Lord heard his prayer. He had confidence that the Lord would answer his prayers (6:8-9) and would make all things right (6:10). Friends, do you have such assurance? Do you have such confidence? You can if you turn to the God who is our ever-present help in time of trouble.

If you are downcast and broken-hearted, the Psalms can teach you how even in a state of deep depression, God’s children can cry out to Him in confidence, for He is our shepherd (Psalm 23), who has provided the lamb who takes away our sin. May you know and experience the peace of God given to us in the person of Christ.