Note from Joanna: If you are just now joining us on our journey THRU THE WORD I hope you will jump right in and enjoy this guest post by writer Wendy Alsup. Be sure to read more about Wendy at the end of the post!
All day long, I moan my complaint, and God hears.
This has been the theme as we have read through Psalm 54-59 this week in Thru the Word. David is writing during a particularly hard season in his life.
For strangers have risen against me; ruthless men seek my life; they do not set God before themselves. Psalm 54:3 (ESV)
Nobody enjoys being around a complainer, and even the Apostle Paul encourages us to do everything without complaining (Philippians 2:14). However, the Psalms give us a way to righteously acknowledge our problems, fears, and concerns. It is to bring those very complaints to God in honest and forthright ways. David models for us, in these psalms, exactly how to do it.
Attend to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and I moan. Psalm 55:2 (ESV)
Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me. Psalm 56:1 (ESV)
David’s complaints are strong. He has big problems. He’s been betrayed by close friends. They stir up strife against him, and wait in hiding to destroy him. But as David pours out these complaints to God, he is confident that God is intimately aware of these problems and the pain they cause him. “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle,” he says in Psalms 56:8 (ESV). What a beautiful picture of a faithful God!
David is raw and vulnerable throughout these psalms. We all long for a relationship in which we can share the deepest wounds and fears in our hearts. He has found this in the God of the Universe, the Sovereign Creator.
We too are invited to boldly and confidently enter God’s throne room to find the grace and mercy we need moment by moment, in peace or in conflict (Hebrews 4:16, Ephesians 3:12). We often hide from God in an attempt to pull ourselves together in moments of raw pain. It’s in times like these when we most need to seek His face. David models for us a different way altogether.
Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice. Psalm 55:17 (ESV)
God preserved David’s moaning prayers in His Word so that you and I would have an example for bringing our own complaints and fears to God. David models for us both the complaint and the healing that God brings to his heart. While hiding from Saul in a cave, he is able to say, “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!” Psalm 57:7 (ESV).
Most of us have experienced previously or are now experiencing a season of pain and betrayal. Did you manage your complaint as David did? How would you encourage someone struggling in such a season after reading these psalms?
Wendy Alsup is a woman who loves to serve and minister to those around her. Whether she is teaching math or working with women she is passionate about her work. Her ministry work has included working in Christian camps and Christian schools in the U.S. and Korea and leading the women’s ministry at a large church in her current home city, Seattle. Her heart is most centered in the informal counseling and discipleship of women. She has written three books including her newest release, The Gospel-Centered Woman: Understanding Biblical Womanhood through the Lens of the Gospel. Wendy and her husband have been married 15 years and have 2 boys.
You can find out more about Wendy books and read her blog here.