Psalm 30 in other words:


I will lift up Your name, Lord, because You have lifted me up. You looked into the deep hole I’d dug for myself, and pulled me out. Later, when my enemies came up to the edge and looked in, ready to point and laugh, my pit was empty.

In my brokenness, I called out to You, Lord, and You healed me. On my own I was as good as dead, but You spared me.

Listen, any of you who has faith: make sure you never stop praising God. He is faithful and He is holy, and we can never praise Him enough for being exactly who He is. We try His patience to the limit, pushing His boundaries until He has to push back to save us from ourselves. Even then, His anger is a drop in the constantly overflowing bucket of our stubborn independence; His favor a flood of compassion in the desert of our need. We may weep in the darkness of our night of despair, but He will come in the morning light, refreshing our joy.

Before this happened, I thought I had it all together: family, finances, future. I congratulated myself that I’d engineered everything well and could rest on my own laurels. I’d covered all the bases. I was successful, secure, and nothing could shake me up.

What a colossal idiot!

I only had what I did because You blessed me and sustained it all. I found that out when You withdrew. It was as if You said, “You think you can do it on your own? Okay, let Me show you how you’ll manage without Me.”

All I managed was absolute dismay. It felt like all the air was sucked out of me. One by one, everything I had counted on crumbled. The ground went out from under me. I plunged so far into the hole I knew I could never crawl out on my own.

I realized what I had done, what I could never justify, and cried out for Your mercy. I told You I couldn’t make amends for my pride if I were to die now. I couldn’t use my mistakes as an example of what not to do if it was all over for me. I couldn’t testify to Your truth by lying in the grave. These were my only claims to Your mercy — that I wouldn’t waste what You had allowed me to learn.

And You — O You, Lord, my merciful and forgiving God — You didn’t stop at reaching down and lifting me out of the pit. That was all I asked, but You did so much more. You put such joy and fresh energy into me that I danced. What a turnaround from my smug self-security! Now I’m filled with your Spirit, clothed with Your righteousness. I can’t stop singing Your praises, and I never want to! It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks; I won’t keep quiet about You ever again. You gave me life and I blew it; then You gave me life again and I knew it.

For the rest of my life, everyone I meet will know it too.