Psalm 39

Over and over I promise myself that I will control my temper and my tongue
I will put a muzzle on my mouth when I am hurt or angry
But then I hurt by my silent withdrawal, not even saying anything good
And meanwhile my hurt and anger grow hotter and hotter within me
I try to pray, to meditate but the fire burns inside me until I explode
Then I turn on You, God, and demand that You help me
Humble me, bring me back to the reality of how short life is
How little time we each really have, the good as well as the bad
How foolish we are to rush around being upset by this life
Its riches and disappointments, its honors and hurts
When all will vanish and only You will remain
What can I look for, hope for, but You; my hope is in You
Only You can save me from myself
Only You can give me worthy words, worthy thoughts, worthy feelings
You take away all pretense, all worthless strivings, all false philosophies
Before Your eternalness, everyone’s life is but a breath
So hear my prayer, God, listen to my cry for help
Do not be deaf to my weeping
Although I often feel that You are distant and unknowable
Although I sometimes doubt that You are real
Although I may feel as pagan as any Gentile of old
Please accept me, don’t be angry with me, save me
That I may enjoy life in this world before I depart it forever.

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