From: Lucia Pizzo Flaherty
This is a desperate Psalm, a Psalm for when the speaker feels tiny and alone and broken. The Psalmist writes, "My days are like an evening shadow; I wither away like grass." His days, his life will soon disappear and be absorbed by the night entirely. His despair (at least for the first half of the Psalm) is palpable. But the Psalmist roots himself in God, in God's defining ability to endure.
In this Psalm, the diminishment of self is done to the speaker—he is not choosing to feel as completely broken as he does. He is not choosing his circumstances. At the same time, we're called to intentionally make ourselves small before God—more of Him and less of me. And I don't think this (the intentionality) makes it (the feeling broken) any easier. It's hard to be broken—by other people, by our circumstances, by ourselves. It's hard to peel back and look down into ourselves and see the parts of us that pain God and pain others. But I think there is a beauty in reckoning with the ways we wither, in seeing our days as evening shadows, as days that will soon disappear into something so much larger than ourselves.
How do I empty myself to make space for God?
I live in JP with my husband and daughter, and we have been enjoying Sufjan's new Planetarium tunes: check it out.