verses 25 & 28
"My soul cleaves to the dust."
In these days as some people's thoughts turn to Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin, if I could pick a Charles Schultz character I most resemble, it would be Pig Pen. I relate to David a little here. I've never been squeaky clean. As a little child, I've been told, I ate dirt. I was raised as a kid back in the good ol'days when you didn't need a bath until Saturday night with only a little spit and polish from your mama in between. In junior college the art professor stopped the class and said, "Everybody look at Celia. See how dirty she is? See how she really gets into her art?" He meant it as a compliment, even though I think he was truly astounded by my messy-me. It was true. I had oil paint all over me and used my fingers to spread paint at times. Later at Point Loma, I had to walk across campus, past all those squeaky clean coeds, covered in clay dust or watercolors or acrylics. Do I remember to ever wear gloves when I garden? No. My fingernails and hands bear evidence for days on end. As for picking berries, pitting cherries, the stain last weeks.
But for David, this is a reminder that man was formed from the dust of the earth and will one day return to the dust. David was down, really down, roll-me-over-in-the-dirt-and-forget-about-me depressed. He needed God to breathe new life into him. That's why he went on to beg for "a cure for his spiritual deadness," as Matthew Henry called it.
"Revive me according to Your word."
The King James Version says, "Quicken Thou me..." Life is brief, sometimes briefer than we can believe. We are death defying, death denying in our culture. People are still looking for the fountain of youth, but now look for it in vanishing creams or at the plastic surgeon's. For most of us, however, God lets us get tired of these old bodies until we are anxious to get the newer models in heaven. It's like exchanging Orville and Wilbur Wright's airplane for a U-2 spy plane or a rocket to the moon. But us dust-cleavers want to still cling to our fragile Wright brother's version a little longer.
If we were smart, we would realize that reviving can only happen through the resuscitation God uses by His Word. If someone were to see us in this desperate state, clinging to dust, they might hold up a mirror to see if there was any breath left with which to fog it up to know if we were still alive. They might watch our chest to see if it rises and falls (like we stare at the dead person on T.V. to see if the actor's breathing is perceptible.) The mirror God holds up to us is His Word.
A little later on the Psalmist goes on to say...
"My soul weeps because of grief;
Strengthen me according to Your word."
"Heaviness in the heart of man makes it to melt, to drop away like a candle that wastes. His request for God's grace: 'Strengthen Thou me with strength in my soul, according to Your word.'" (Matthew Henry)
Strength in the Soul
Having autoimmune issues, I know what it feels like to be a little poured out with nothing left, like a puddle of melted wax, a hot mess. Before I found help, I would wish that I could get an I.V. of melted chocolate or something so that I'd have enough energy to do my grocery shopping. No kidding. I'd daydream about it all the way to the store, but then despair, waking up to reality. I needed something to strengthen me, to give me a little starch to get through another day.
Grief can cause the soul to weep. Isn't that what deep grief does, touches your very soul, not just the body and mind, but your deepest places, the inside of the inside of you where you truly exist in the who you really are? That place can be very, very weak at times, unable to hardly lift a prayer, or call for help. If you've poured out your tears from that well and it runs dry, you're in deep trouble. You need to be strengthened, revived, quickened by God's word. It is not just enough to read verses by rote, as if a rosary, but it must be breathed in and taken into your innermost being. It's not just words, but the Word spoken by God personally to your heart.
Wait! Look! I think I saw her chest move and her finger twitch. I think she still lives! Yep. That's me. I live to blog another day.