Sunday, June 5, 2016


June 6, 2016
Psalm 33:9  "All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you."

A sigh is a deep, audible breath that communicates either disappointment or relief.  It is a physiological, involuntary response the body makes to reset the brain, induce an endorphin effect, or change irregular breathing.  A sigh can also be voluntary, to intentionally communicate annoyance.  Whatever the momentary reason for the sigh, the effect on the body is increased oxygen, which makes changes that result in a renewed equilibrium for the whole being.  God designed the sigh.  Not only did He design the sigh, but He gets to perceive our sighs as He watches us navigate this life.  You and I express ourselves through a sigh, showing our cards, as our body is obviously in need of a renewed equilibrium of things.  The Lord sees this, whether communicated intentionally or not.

The psalmist uses sighs in the Bible to communicate a form of disappointment, to express frustration with the current situation, exhaustion of emotional status.  You've done this and I've done this, even toward the Lord.  We get disappointed when the Lord doesn't respond in a perceived timely manner so we express our annoyance with the situation by sighing, even in our prayers.  We become emotionally exhausted in the current state of things, needing a renewed equilibrium.  It's OK to sigh, even toward the Lord, if done respectfully.  It's OK to express that you've come to the end of your emotional state, needing a change.  That's why the Lord designed the sigh in the first place.  It is especially OK to express your sigh to the Lord while you pray for a change at the same time, as long as it is not a sigh of disbelief.

When a sigh is expressed in the Bible, it is done from a point of being exhausted in prayer.  While prayer itself is not exhausting, praying the same thing over and over again without an answer to that pray can be frustrating, feeling it deserves a sigh.  This often results in the start of a prayer with a sigh.  King David did this often.  The man who had an extremely close relationship with the Lord, prayed the same thing over and over, often with a sigh interjected in his prayer.  The recorded psalms in our Bible are not chronologically grouped, they are grouped by types.  I challenge you to read David's psalms and find that there are several back to back that express his frustration with the situation and unanswered prayer, or a prayer for the same exact thing time and time again.  You'll find phrases and themes like "when, oh Lord, will you hear by prayer," or "I cry out to you yet again," or "my enemies have come back to attack me and I'm already exhausted."

If the psalmist is allowed to sigh in his prayer, I think it safe to sigh in yours, with one caveat.  The psalmist never expressed his sigh, then stopped praying or stopped believing in the Lord.  The psalmist sighed, and prayed again and again and again.  The psalmist never gave up his belief in the Lord's ability to rescue him.  He found himself on his knees, yet again, to the Lord, expressing his need for help.  The moment you express your sigh and give up on the Lord is the moment He may decide to hold your answer until you've come back around.  It's OK to sigh, just maintain your belief.  I pray your next sigh is a sigh of relief.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Ps 38:8-10, Ps 55:16-19, Is 35:9-10, Is 51:10-12, Job 3:23-25

No comments: