scripture + meditation.
1 Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
2 I sink in the miry depths,
where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
the floods engulf me.
3 I am worn out calling for help;
my throat is parched.
My eyes fail,
looking for my God.
4 Those who hate me without reason
outnumber the hairs of my head;
many are my enemies without cause,
those who seek to destroy me.
I am forced to restore
what I did not steal.
5 You know my folly, O God;
my guilt is not hidden from you.
6 May those who hope in you
not be disgraced because of me,
O Lord, the LORD Almighty;
may those who seek you
not be put to shame because of me,
O God of Israel.
7 For I endure scorn for your sake,
and shame covers my face.
8 I am a stranger to my brothers,
an alien to my own mother's sons;
9 for zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
10 When I weep and fast,
I must endure scorn;
11 when I put on sackcloth,
people make sport of me.
12 Those who sit at the gate mock me,
and I am the song of the drunkards.
13 But I pray to you, O LORD,
in the time of your favor;
in your great love, O God,
answer me with your sure salvation.
14 Rescue me from the mire,
do not let me sink;
deliver me from those who hate me,
from the deep waters.
15 Do not let the floodwaters engulf me
or the depths swallow me up
or the pit close its mouth over me.
16 Answer me, O LORD, out of the goodness of your love;
in your great mercy turn to me.
17 Do not hide your face from your servant;
answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.
18 Come near and rescue me;
redeem me because of my foes.
19 You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed;
all my enemies are before you.
20 Scorn has broken my heart
and has left me helpless;
I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
for comforters, but I found none.
21 They put gall in my food
and gave me vinegar for my thirst.
22 May the table set before them become a snare;
may it become retribution and a trap.
23 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
and their backs be bent forever.
24 Pour out your wrath on them;
let your fierce anger overtake them.
25 May their place be deserted;
let there be no one to dwell in their tents.
26 For they persecute those you wound
and talk about the pain of those you hurt.
27 Charge them with crime upon crime;
do not let them share in your salvation.
28 May they be blotted out of the book of life
and not be listed with the righteous.
29 I am in pain and distress;
may your salvation, O God, protect me.
30 I will praise God's name in song
and glorify him with thanksgiving.
31 This will please the LORD more than an ox,
more than a bull with its horns and hoofs.
32 The poor will see and be glad—
you who seek God, may your hearts live!
33 The LORD hears the needy
and does not despise his captive people.
34 Let heaven and earth praise him,
the seas and all that move in them,
35 for God will save Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah.
Then people will settle there and possess it;
36 the children of his servants will inherit it,
and those who love his name will dwell there.
why are there 40 days of lent, you may wonder? Of course, the number "40" has always had special spiritual significance regarding preparation. On Mount Sinai, preparing to receive the Ten Commandments, "Moses stayed there with the Lord for 40 days and 40 nights, without eating any food or drinking any water" (Ex. 34:28). Elijah walked "40 days and 40 nights" to the mountain of the Lord, Mount Horeb (another name for Sinai) (I Kings 19:8). Most importantly, Jesus fasted and prayed for "40 days and 40 nights" in the desert before He began His public ministry (Matt. 4:2).(excerpt taken from History of Lent)
40 days. in the desert. hot during the days. cold nights. wandering. searching. no food. no water. bored. tired. tempted. feeling abandoned. i wonder if during that time Jesus thought or reflected on the scriptures of old, specifically Psalm 69.
especially when the tempter came upon him. tempted with food and drink... tempted with power. tested. he was probably drained. every bit human, he was. he had to be exhausted. when you're tired and hungry, we know it's hard to think straight. he had to be at a very low point. how could he not be? and yet - he finds the strength to endure the temptations.
i can't help but think that at some point Psalm 69 crossed his mind. i wonder, if as Jesus was going through this struggle, that he thought of the struggles of mankind - how many human beings past, present and future connect with the 'save me, o God' passage of Psalm 69?
There he is. Jesus Christ. the beautiful thing is that he knows what it's like to experience loss, pain, suffrage, temptation, hunger and need. We are never alone with our anguish.
know and understand that no matter what trial, temptation or struggle that you may go through - it is not something that is uncommon to Christ.
what solace does that bring you?
are you experiencing a time in the desert? are you feeling as though you are drowning with land in sight? going under? need saving? Cry out. the Christ knows your pain... hears your cry... is there to save you.