“Please make it stop!”

In the middle of a grief, conflict, disease, or economic hardship, we tend to say, “Please make it stop!” Bad things just keep piling up without end.

No doubt that is the way David felt when he wrote (Psalm 40:12),
“For evils have encompassed me beyond number;
My iniquities have overtaken me and I can not see;
They are more than the hairs on my head;
My heart fails me.”

David understood that problems not only come to us, they come from us. Not only are we attacked by life and the living, we often bring a boatload of trouble upon ourselves through our own sin and folly. It was feeling like it was too much. “Overwhelmed” is what we call it, don’t we?

But the other side of the coin also is in this psalm, and that is God’s grace. In fact, grace is the context of this reflective psalm, one written after God had delivered David. Just as his problems seemed infinite, so also were God’s points of help (Psalm 40:5):
“You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told.”

When we’re overwhelmed by the sheer multitude of our problems, let’s remember the even greater multitude of God’s mercies. If our troubles keep piling up, let’s recall that God’s blessings stretch that much higher.

“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.”
Psalm 139:17, 18

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