One of the things that I love about the book of Psalms is the honest human emotion that comes from it. David did not hold back his thoughts or feelings. In fact, there are several times when I cringe when I read a few chapters; not because I’m ashamed of reading it, but that I’ve had similar thoughts like him. There are thoughts of doubts, pain, and anger. Thoughts of hateful words about people or situations. There are moments of heartbreak. I have moments when I hide in the bathroom and just cry. There have been times when I thought that David crossed the line in his words, and especially with this chapter.
In fact, I almost skipped the chapter we are on altogether.x
I thought perhaps that you may not notice if I skipped to the next chapter-one that was happier and had easier themes to discuss. I actually had the next chapter pulled up on my Bible app when I sat down to write this. Then God reminded me that life is the messy parts. He seems to be teaching this to me a lot lately.
I can’t skip over the parts of my life that I don’t want to think about. I can’t hide the thoughts and emotions that I feel because they aren’t the pretty, perfectly wrapped package that I want everyone to see. Having these emotions is not a bad thing. Did some of the things David say seem really harsh and awful during this chapter? Yes. But it’s not that much different than the things that I go through, or struggle with, or the thoughts that I think. I’m not that much different than David. The world is still just a messed up as it was in his time, and some can even argue that it’s much worse now. There will always be evilness and wickedness going on, because sin is in this world. Voicing our frustrations and emotions to God is not wrong, and it’s not something that needs to be skipped over. God wants us to come to Him when we are hurting. He wants us to cry out to Him.
I think there’s something special about the difference in Psalm 58 and Psalm 59. David was angry and crying out for justice in 58, and then in 59 as he is praying for deliverance from his enemies and then he starts praising God. “But as for me, I shall sing of your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of your lovingkindess in the morning, for you have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress.” (Verse 16)
So don’t try to cover up what you’re feeling or going through. Don’t let the messy bits stop you from living, and from growing. It’s okay to cry out, scream, and ask God questions. But don’t stay stuck in that place. Give it to God, trust him with it, and then praise him. Let Him be your refuge.