Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Forgive Me

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart, and bring me out of my distress. Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins. Psalm 25: 16-18 NRSV

The psalms were meant to be sung or at least recited like poetry. But we tend to forget this and read them more like prose. Certainly they can be prayed but there is so much creative imagery and feelings expressed through the psalms. Often ideas are repeated in different ways using different words. Those of us who do not speak or read Hebrew also miss out on how the poetic verses sound.

These three verses are really saying the same thing: God, help me to feel better for I am depressed. The psalmist asks for God's attention, God's grace, relief from heartache and stress, and God's understanding while the psalmist is in misery. However, the last verse also gets to the heart of the matter: forgiveness of sins.

What do loneliness and affliction, troubles and distress have to do with our sins?

Can admitting my sins and asking for forgiveness help me to feel less depressed?

This past week I made a comment on facebook that hurt someones feelings. I quickly deleted the comment and messaged the person with my apologies for posting the comment. However, I never heard back from them. The next day I was very depressed. It was hard for me to get even the simplest tasks accomplished because I could only think about my mistake. However, I don't think I have yet to ask for God's forgiveness for this. Maybe that is the key -- receiving God's forgiveness.

I don't think this will work every single time we are down. But I do think our troubles often come about because we have done that which is displeasing to God -- sometimes just thinking too much about our afflictions can be displeasing! God wants our attention, our praise and our gratefulness. Kind of hard to give God all that when we are feeling lonely and distressed.

God, forgive me of my sins. Relieve me from my affliction and my troubles. For to you belong all glory and praise. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims


  1. Thanks for taking the time to share these, Amelia. I really look forward to reading your entry on Psalm 42. I spent a lot of time with this psalm in Carol Newsom's "The Bible and the Care of the Earth" class at Candler in 2008. I loved reading William Brown's commentary on Psalm 42, too. Thanks, again!

  2. Melissa - read my devotional on the 24th. Don't know if I have done Carol or Mr. Brown justice. Or you either, for that matter. Will probably spend more time on the Psalms in 2011.