“I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears” (Psalm 6:6).

This giant killer, this mighty warrior of whom they sang, “David hath killed his ten thousands,” this poet who wrote so much about trusting God and casting all care upon Him, this same man of God, cried out, “Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed” (Psalm 6:2). David had sinned grievously, confessing, “For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled: I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long” (Psalm 38:4-6).

David is expressing exactly what some of you may be going through right now: a feeling of being overwhelmed by sin, like unexpected ocean waves sweeping over your soul. You can’t understand why you are swamped again. You cry, “God, it is too much for me! I can’t handle it anymore.” You are wounded and you know that you stink inwardly from sin. You know you have been foolish and stupid. You feel the spiritual corruption and are so sick in your mind that it affects your body. Your failure, your lack of victory, has actually made you go “mourning all the day” in depression and fear. You are troubled—bowed down—disturbed in your soul.

David had a sense that he was suffering from the sins he had committed. He was not saying that God was not just in chastising him, but he wanted to be corrected in love: “O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak” (Psalm 6:1-2). The cry from David is this: “Lord, my own foolishness, my own besetting sin, has brought much of my suffering upon me! I know You have a right to correct and chastise me. But please remember that I am still Your child! Pour out Your wrath on those who don’t want You. I have sinned, but I still love You. Correct me in love. Be merciful.”

If you feel God’s arrows in your soul because of past and present sin, yet you have a repentant heart and want to turn from your sin, you can call for His chastening love. You will be corrected, but in great mercy and compassion, just as a caring father spanks his child because of love. You will not feel His wrath as do the heathen, but with His rod you will feel His loving, outstretched arms.