There is no greater silence than that which envelops a person who is stuck in a miserable hopeless situation. Like a black hole that sucks up light, despairing hopelessness mutes even the deepest soul cry of the afflicted. The event horizon between the catastrophic centre of the pit and those beyond it is an impenetrable barrier. We cannot hear the deepest of anguish of those caught in its terrible grip. But God can!
The Psalmist has been there and survived to praise His God who rescued him; “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.” (Psalm 40:1,2) The stillness of time at a black hole’s centre is a terrible teacher of patience. The hardest patience is that learned when there is no choice. At the centre of despair there is no one but God. A stark choice emerges out of the urgent question; ‘Can He be trusted?’
The Psalmist says; ‘Yes,’ because; “He has put a new song in my mouth— Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.” (v. 3) The proud never heard his cry they were too far away from his pit. Nor did those who ‘knew’ that bad things happen only to ‘bad’ people. You cannot trust the hard of hearing; “Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.” (v. 4) The Psalmist knew he deserved no mercy; “My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; They are more than the hairs of my head; Therefore my heart fails me.” (v.12) Undeserved mercy gave him a new voice!
Undeserved mercy is a healing balm even for ears clogged with mud; “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; my ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.” (v. 6) Such mercy redeems a person’s life even though there is no possiblity of repaying the debt. Mercy calls a man; “Then I said, ‘Behold, I come;’ In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.” (v. 7, 8) Mercy re-writes a man’s heart!
Humility is exchanged for shame and a new man is born; “Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, ‘The Lord be magnified!’ But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God.” (v. 16,17) Urgency replaces complacency as God is needed and praised daily, moment to moment which is the life line of eternity.
All because God can hear your cry!