I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before Him; before Him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way. (Psalm 142:1-3)
How common is having a ‘faint spirit?’ If King David was our only example, it would seem very common. Most would never admit to anything but being okay. A strong, resilient heart is the report I hear most often. So what’s the matter with David? What a whiner. Emotionally fragile would describe him well. It’s surprising that his words are included in the pages of Scripture. He’s just so… weak. It’s surprising that he ever became King. It’s surprising that he was described as a man after God’s own heart.
The King that David replaced was a strong heart. Saul was a leader and warrior with no visible signs of weakness. God removed his Kingdom from Saul and his family forever, giving it to David.
David was not so strong. He was often plagued with doubts and fears. His spirit was faint within him. What made David the greatest of all Israel’s Kings was that he took those concerns and weaknesses to God, trusting God to guide and protect him. David trusted God to work out the details, and David gave Him praise.
David drew those ‘mighty men’ (1 Chronicles 11) around him because of his dependence on God. David was a leader who was led. He was a worshipper who took his faint heart to God and relied on God to provide. David prayed, “Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me” (Psalm 142:7)
Father, You know my way. You know where I’ve been better than anyone. You know where I am now. And, amazingly, You know where I am headed! Only You know these things! I bring my faint heart and failing spirit to You, trusting that You will be my strength. Lead me so that I can lead others, I pray.