Permission to Grieve Is Granted in Psalm 6

Permission to Grieve Is Granted in Psalm 6

“Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord—how long? Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love.” Psalm 6:2-4

The words languishing, troubled, weary, tears, weeping, grief, and foes form a definite theme in this psalm. So, let’s start with the obvious. Life is good, but sometimes life is very difficult. Painful. Alarming. Overwhelming.

Permission is granted to you to grieve.

You are encouraged to cry out to beseech the Lord to be gracious and to ask for healing. It is entirely appropriate to turn to the Lord and ask him to turn to you. It is entirely appropriate to seek deliverance. Lament is a prevalent theme throughout The Psalms. It’s right to ask God how long brokenness will wreak unimpeded havoc.

“I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes.” Psalm 6:6-7

We’re often told to keep a stiff upper lip. Buck up and be strong. However, The Psalms tell a different story. Weariness at moaning, beds flooded with tears, couches drenched with weeping, wasting eyes, and weakness are byproducts of brokenness. We live in a broken world, and pain is prevalent.

“Sing it softly through the gloom, when the heart for mercy craves…” Priscilla Owen, “We Have Heard the Joyful Sound”

This is why we turn to God and ask him to turn to us. We are a broken people in a broken world, and we need his steadfast love to permeate our existence. We need his graciousness to visit us. We require his help. We are utterly dependent upon him. We humbly acknowledge our need for deliverance.

“The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer.” Psalm 6:9

From the context of brokenness, it is reassuring to know that he promises to hear our plea. He accepts, even invites, our prayer. E. M. Bounds contends, “Only God can move mountains, but faith and prayer move God” and “There is no plea so efficacious as importunate prayer, and none to which God surrenders himself so fully and so freely.” He promises to hear our pleas and prayers.

Permission is granted to grieve.

The world is broken. It’s right to grow weary in loss and moaning. But cry out to the one who can mend your world. John Flavel says, in Facing Grief, “Griefs are eased by groans and heart-pressures relieved by utterance.” It is entirely appropriate to turn to him with your painful groaning in your languishing. He is the centerpiece; therefore, we should turn from ourselves to him.

God is not a part of your life; you are a part of God’s. Grieve, yes, but do so from a place and posture of hope in Christ.

“Slowly, almost imperceptibly, there is a shift in our center of gravity. We pass from thinking of God as part of our life to the realization that we are part of his life.” Richard J. Foster, Finding the Heart’s True Home


  1. Paula Hemphill

    Thanks, D Ray! Our daughter is here and after 18 months since Stephen’s death at 40, she is moving forward but still hurting. Appreciate your reflections.

    • D. Ray Davis

      Thank you, Paula! I pray her hurting continues to heal. It’s a long journey, but I am so grateful I could grieve freely…albeit in the context of hope!

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