Jenny's Psalm Reflections: Psalm 39 v.5

Today’s verse is Psalm 39 v.5

“YOU HAVE MADE MY DAYS A FEW HANDBREADTHS, AND MY LIFETIME IS AS NOTHING IN YOUR SIGHT.”

Background:

Psalm 39 is a prayer for wisdom and forgiveness. In many Psalms David is singing, giving an order or rejoicing but in this Psalm he begins silently because God had rebuked him for a sin he had committed. David did not argue or give reasons but was silent “I was silent and still” (verse 2). He meditated and learned a couple of key lessons which we too can learn.

Firstly, he learned that life is short (verse 5). Our lives are but a mere grain of sand in the vast timeline of creation so we should not waste that time on unimportant worries or actions. Secondly, this short time is also part of our frailty (verse 4). It’s not so important how strong we are in ourselves but how strong we are in God.

Sometimes things happen in life to make us re-prioritise and I know a number of people have had such an experience in COVID. Making our lives count for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom is a calling for all of us and it sometimes takes a shock to make us realise this again. For example, I know people who have decided to move closer to elderly family members, realising how a tragedy like COVID can leave family members in complete isolation due to geographical locations. Others have had a complete shift on consumerism and realised that there’s plenty to see at home without having to spend much and travel too far.

Illustration by jeremythomasart.co.uk
Illustration by jeremythomasart.co.uk

Wherever you are in your life’s journey, feeling contented, fulfilled and at peace, or perhaps re-considering priorities, use this Psalm to help you pray through this.

Meditation

1. Find a quiet place.

Sit comfortably but alert – feet flat on the floor, back pushed hard against the back of the chair.

2. Focus as well on your breathing.

Pay attention to in-breaths and out-breaths. You may think of breathing in God’s life and peace and breathing out any tension.

3. Be aware of your body.

Let your aches and pains be there. Rest your feet on the floor; still being aware of them pressed firmly into the floor. Shrug your shoulders, ease your neck. Take time to become still.

4. Ask God how he can make your life count.

You may have some ideas already but read the words of verse 5 again slowly and listen to what your inner voice is saying.

5. Sit quietly and feel safe.

Hand over the situation to God and ask him for his support.

6. Finish with this prayer:

O Christ, Son of the living God, help us when we are too downhearted to pray, help us to trust you in every hour of every day, to do the best we can for you, for you are with us in our highs and lows. Amen.

 

Posted on May 6th 2021

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