How Long, Lord, How Long? (Psalm 6)

Psalm 6

Where do you go in the rough times? Do you go to the TV and binge watch episode after episode? Do you go to the freezer and dig into that half gallon of ice cream? Do you go to social media, aimlessly scrolling down? Do you go to video games? Drugs or alcohol? Where do you go when life gets you down?

The Book of Psalms offers comfort like no other corpus of literature. Whether in expressions of deep sorrow or ones of overflowing joy, hundreds of generations have found the perfect medicine for their souls in the Book of Psalms. King David’s prayer in Psalm 6 resonates with many whose situation seems lost, “My soul is in deep anguish. How long, LORD, how long (Psalm 6:3)?”

Often our psychological well being impacts our emotional or spiritual well-being. Listen to what David says: “I am faint (Psalm 6:2).” Have you ever felt such sorrow you were afraid to get up out of fear you would only fall down again. “My bones are in agony (Psalm 6:2).” Has psychological pain ever caused your bones to actually ache?

I remember when my wife and I were trying to advocate for our foster child. No one seemed to listen; no one seemed to care. My wife and I cared deeply. We felt stuck. We felt our foster child was stuck. We felt helpless and defeated. I could relate to David on those days. When have you felt such psychological turmoil your body actually hurt?

David’s cry, “How long?,” at first glance, may seem hopeless. David, however, demonstrated faith in his cry. He turned to God and knew God’s deliverance would come, eventually. He poured out his heartache. He lamented his situation. He bore his soul to God and knew God listened.  

Sometimes the smallest ounce of faith makes all the difference. Psalm 6 ends with David seemingly in the same situation. Nothing external seems to have changed. However, David’s attitude did change. He declares his confidence in God, “The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer (Psalm 6:9).” Knowing that the Lord of all mercy hears us, knows us, and cares about us changes our attitude, even when our situation remains the same.

God comforts us in ways nothing or no one else can. May we in the tough times turn to him, who bore the pain of our sin in his Son to bring about deliverance from all our enemies.

Leave a Reply