Short Meditations in Psalms: 6.7 Blinded by Tears
Psa 6:7 My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes.
This is one of those psalms that I am sure we look at, read, and pass over without much thought. What does David mean when he says, “My eyes grow weak with sorrow”? Does he mean literally weak or is he speaking figuratively?
I don’t know if you have ever had cause to cry for a long time but it does leave your eyes feeling sore at the very least, and David has just said, “I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears,” So he has been doing a lot of crying. Perhaps the tears have been so many that they have blurred his sight. It could be physical.
But I know something else about crying like this, and it is that the whole act of giving in utterly to tears totally blinds you to anything else. I have watched very emotional people (not everyone responds like this) at funerals, grieving over their loved ones who are now gone and I have seen shoulders heaving with the sobbing, packets of tissues being handed round and used up to staunch the tears. At such a moment such a person is not comforted by words for they are utterly consumed by their tears, and from what he has just said, David is like this, utterly consumed by his tears.
Now they do say we are all different and so you may not have had that experience and this is a difficult thing to comprehend, but for people who do go through this, life, its troubles, its strivings, its struggles, its meanings all become meaningless, swept away in the torrent of tears. Tears of course are simply the outward manifestation of what is going in inside.
Inside David, he is in total anguish; he wouldn’t be weeping like that if he wasn’t like that. The Message version is particularly graphic: “I’m tired of all this—so tired. My bed has been floating forty days and nights on the flood of my tears. My mattress is soaked, soggy with tears. The sockets of my eyes are black holes; nearly blind, I squint and grope.”
Whatever else this says, it says that David is utterly consumed by his concerns, so much so that he realises that it has almost taken him over so that he cannot see everything clearly any longer, it’s all got out of perspective. Jesus knew the same anguish (Lk 22:42,45) which left him “exhausted from sorrow”. That was the reality of the coming Cross that he understood. For David, this man after God’s own heart, his heart was breaking for his people, for their folly. Few of us, I suspect, get moved this much, but it is a measure of David that he did. He did not have a problem with his emotion and neither should we.