When I was a boy, I remember our family going to the beach for vacation each year. I loved swimming in the ocean, and trying to ride a raft, and just trying to body surf on the waves. We always went in August when the water was the warmest. I would get in the ocean and would not get out until it was time to eat or go back to the campground. I remember going to the ocean one time shortly after a thunderstorm had gone through. The waves were much bigger than normal.
I remember getting out in the ocean and having the experience where one wave came right after the other. One wave knocked me over, and when I stood back up, the next wave was on top of me. This happened repeatedly until I was beginning to panic. I finally got control and moved in to more shallow water to get my confidence back again. I have had this same feeling in life more than once. You’ve heard the expression, “When it rains, it pours.” There are times in life that I feel like one negative thing happens right on top of another.
For me, I sometimes feel this way with my own sins. David said it better than me when he wrote: “For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me” (Psalm 38:4). When I consider the holiness of God, and the sinfulness of my life, I feel this same way. I am caught in those times when my sin is so obvious to me, and the feeling of how offensive I must be to God overwhelms me. I feel exactly like David described himself here in Psalm 38. I feel like a child being beaten down by wave after huge wave!
As I read further in the passage, I read this: “For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear O Lord my God” (Psalm 38:15). Wow! God is our Divine Life-guard coming to our rescue. When you and I feel overwhelmed by the sinfulness of this world; or even our own sinfulness before a holy God, it is good for us to remember that our hope is in God. We recently remembered the cross and the resurrection. When I consider the weight of my sin on Jesus there on the cross, it is extremely humbling to me. When I begin to feel a bit puffed up, or proud, I take myself back to that time, to remind myself that my sin is overwhelming. As overwhelming as my sin is … I have a God Who is more than capable of forgiving my sin. He is eager to forgive my sin! God’s mercy and grace are equally overwhelming to me as the depth of my sinfulness. His mercy reaches far beyond my sin to His forgiveness! What a great God we serve!