Lord, All My Longing is Known to You!!
In verse 9, David says, “Lord, all my longing is known to you.” When I think about that expression, “All my longing,” I think about the person with a difficult, illusive, festering illness that neither visits to the doctor or pharmacy can solve. Perhaps this Psalm was written during the end of the life of David. We are told in 1 Kings chapter one that near the end of his life, David became cold and nothing could warm his body. Advisors to the king searched the land and found a young woman, Abishag, who they brought to give the old, infirmed king warmth and joy. Even though she lay her body on David, she was not able to restore his health. Eventually, the old king died. Coleman Young, the first African American to be elected mayor of the City of Detroit, said this was his favorite part of the Bible. He seemed to take great joy in shocking persons when he would recite this passage in the Bible. At some point he would remind his listeners, “It is in the Bible.” Let me read a little from the 1st chapter of 1st Kings:
1 King David was old and advanced in years; and although they covered him with clothes, he could not get warm. 2 So his servants said to him, “Let a young virgin be sought for my lord the king, and let her wait on the king, and be his attendant; let her lie in your bosom, so that my lord the king may be warm.” 3 So they searched for a beautiful girl throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4 The girl was very beautiful. She became the king’s attendant and served him, but the king did not know her sexually. 
As I read the account of the terminal illness in David, I think about all the people today with an illness they cannot overcome. I think about the people who hope for healing, pray for healing, work virtuous, wholesome and good deeds in the hope for healing, and long for healing, but the restoration of their health seems so far away. As I read Psalm 38, I invite you to say a little prayer for every person you know who suffers an illness that will not go away. I encourage you to pray for every person who hopes and longs for a full, complete and healthy life.
A Penitent Sufferer’s Plea for Healing
A Psalm of David, for the memorial offering.
1 O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger,
or discipline me in your wrath.
2 For your arrows have sunk into me,
and your hand has come down on me.
3 There is no soundness in my flesh
because of your indignation;
there is no health in my bones
because of my sin.
4 For my iniquities have gone over my head;
they weigh like a burden too heavy for me.
5 My wounds grow foul and fester
because of my foolishness;
6 I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;
all day long I go around mourning.
7 For my loins are filled with burning,
and there is no soundness in my flesh.
8 I am utterly spent and crushed;
I groan because of the tumult of my heart.
9 O Lord, all my longing is known to you;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart throbs, my strength fails me;
as for the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.
11 My friends and companions stand aloof from my affliction,
and my neighbors stand far off.
12 Those who seek my life lay their snares;
those who seek to hurt me speak of ruin,
and meditate treachery all day long.
13 But I am like the deaf, I do not hear;
like the mute, who cannot speak.
14 Truly, I am like one who does not hear,
and in whose mouth is no retort.
15 But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait;
it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
16 For I pray, “Only do not let them rejoice over me,
those who boast against me when my foot slips.”
17 For I am ready to fall,
and my pain is ever with me.
18 I confess my iniquity;
I am sorry for my sin.
19 Those who are my foes without cause are mighty,
and many are those who hate me wrongfully.
20 Those who render me evil for good
are my adversaries because I follow after good.
21 Do not forsake me, O Lord;
O my God, do not be far from me;
22 make haste to help me,
O Lord, my salvation. 
Questions for Reflection:
- Psalm 38 is said to be a Psalm of David. What are your thoughts about him praying to the Lord regarding the Lord knowing his longing?
- Have you ever prayed to the Lord for something you, “Longed” for?
Prayer: Lord, it is to you I pray. There are things I long for, things I hope for, things I desire, things I want, things that keep me from living a full, free and fulfilled life. Fix my body. Fix my mind. Fix my thoughts. Fix my hopes. Lord, you are medicine for every illness. Lord, you are hope for every despair. Lord, you are joy for my sadness and encouragement for my fears and frustration. Grant me your hope. Grant me your peace. Grant me your joy. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/
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