Some Psalms speak glowingly of the greatness of God. Others praise the Lord for His benevolent goodness. Others describe in overwhelming thankfulness the blessings God has given them.
And then . . . there are the ones without a happy ending. Like Psalm 38.
The writer, like Job, is suffering. Unlike Job, this writer is comfortable with the notion that his suffering might be because of his sin. He writes of his sinful folly, his guilt, confesses his iniquity, and is troubled by his sin. In his mind (and he would know would he not), his illness has been brought on by the “hand” of the Lord. It has made him vulnerable to paranoia (were people talking about him, or did he just imagine it? You can go both ways). But most of all, he suffers horribly.
Have you ever felt like your suffering was because of your sin?
Yes? Then you know how the psalmist felt.
No? Then perhaps you need to be more introspective. None of us who have ever sinned are beyond the retributive hand of God, and all of us have sinned. It’s not to say that all misfortune is the punishment for sin, only that misfortune is a possible result of sin.
So what do you do?
Do as the psalmist did. Take it to God. We don’t know the end of the story, but we do know the God to whom the psalmist prayed.