David says, “I’m trying to be good” to God. But he also knows that he has failed. “Please don’t punish me too harshly. I’m a man and men are…”
I SO identify with the first part of David’s psalm. He had made up his mind to say NOTHING in the presence of those who would twist his words or rile him. But the more he thinks about what is going on and what they are saying the more urgency he feels to speak out. And he gets himself in trouble for it.
This is a problem I face in my own home with my husband. NO. My husband is not a “wicked” person but the things he says gets under my skin sometimes. I have two ‘favorites’ in this category. The first is when we are driving down the road and he seems to “know” where every truck is headed and for what reason. He will announce their destination and cargo with certainty. I usually say nothing but will occasionally ask ‘how’ he knows. This results in either silence or a long story from his days driving a truck.
My second ‘favorite’ is when he announces some fact from his past and assures me that it is still the same today. To his mind, NOTHING has changed in the last 20+ years. People drive the same cars. They live in the same houses. They even have the same habits and financial status as when he was ‘in the know.’ I try to keep my mouth shut but the other day I challenged one of these statements. I even explained that things and people change over the years. I’m pretty sure I hurt his feelings, which was NOT my intention. I KNOW my ‘information’ did no good because he won’t retain it, due to his cognitive decline, but I just couldn’t seem to keep my mouth shut any longer. It was burning in me to ‘set the record straight.’ MY sin, probably pride, wouldn’t stay bound up. My tongue got in the way of peace.
I’m personally taking David’s lesson in a little different direction. He was asking how long his life would be and probably how many more times he would fall into this trap. I’m asking how much longer my husband will be with me and how many more times will I fall into this sin. I don’t want exasperation and frustration to be the things he remembers me for. My ‘frustrated’ sigh as I go back to his bedside right after walking away to answer another need. My ‘exasperation’ at answering the “really” statement after telling him something. I HAVE to turn these feelings and my tongue over to the Lord AGAIN!
Father God, I need YOUR patience. You are so gentle with me when I’m hurting. I want to be that way for my husband. Help me not just hold my tongue but also change my heart. Help me again find joy in serving. Create in me a clean heart again. And renew a right spirit within me. If there are things in him that need to be changed, I leave that in YOUR hands. HOLD ME TIGHT as things change, whatever those changes may be.