Weary from grief (Psalm 119:28). That’s the songwriter’s bottom line — if he were talking in CSB language. If ESV language, “My soul melts away for sorrow.” And if he allowed Peterson to put words in his mouth, “My sad life’s dilapidated, a falling-down barn” (MSG). While we might say “down in the dumps”, the psalmist would say, “down in the dust.” His soul felt one with desert dry earth. Whatever his circumstance, however long he had been in this season, for the psalmist the heaviness was such that at times he just wanted to cry.
Who can’t connect, at least to some degree, at some point in their life? That’s what makes this stanza of Psalm 119 so instructive, it prescribes for the child of God a remedy for the weariness of grief and the dusty condition of an arid soul.
My life is down in the dust;
give me life through Your word.
(Psalm 119:25 CSB)
Give me life through Your word. There it is. And just in case we missed it, he repeats his plea before the heavenly throne of his attentive God. Teach me Your statutes (v.26). Help me understand the meaning of Your precepts (v.27). Strengthen me through Your word (v.28). Graciously give me Your instruction (v.29).
Revival for the worn-out soul is found through God’s word. Opening the book each morning might at first be but an anchor, something solid to cling to when everything else is shifting, but keep at it, and the anchor becomes manna, daily bread, sufficient intake for the day’s needs. And don’t stop, for eventually God’s word becomes life-giving, reviving drink for the dry soul. Though circumstance might not change, hope somehow eventually abounds.
How come? Because in seeking and sitting and savoring the words on the page on our desk, we interact supernaturally with One who breathed out those words and penned them from on high.
I have chosen the way of truth;
I have set Your ordinances before me.
I cling to Your decrees;
Lord, do not put me to shame.
I pursue the way of Your commands,
for You broaden my understanding.
(Psalms 119:30-32 CSB)
When we choose the way of truth as the only way out of the weariness; when we set His word before our eyes and cling to it as the only way out of the dust; when we pursue His revelation though we have little strength to pursue much else; then He will broaden our understanding.
He will. Not our intellect but His intervention. His supernatural intervention. The LORD of Hosts Himself draws near, up close and personal, through the Third Person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit. The Comforter, the Helper, the Spirit of truth ready, willing, and able “to guide you into all the truth” (Jn. 16:30). The truth about the situation. The truth about you. The truth about Him and His all-sufficient grace and unfailing love. The truth about the power of the gospel to deliver. The truth about the glory soon to be revealed which puts the weariness of this season within the context of the life that will be ours for eternity.
Give me life through Your word!
O’ soul are You weary and troubled? Go to His word. And keep going, keep clinging, keep pursuing. For He will broaden your understanding.
By His grace. For His glory.