Reading: “Wash me throughly from mine iniquity.”—Psalm 51:2
O God, another morning has dawned upon me. “Better Sun of righteousness,” with the brightness of Your rising may all the shadows of guilt and sin be dispersed. I come, weak and weary, guilty and heavy-laden, to You, beseeching You to bend Your pitying eye upon me, to deal not with me as I have deserved nor reward me according to my iniquity. Blessed Jesus, look upon me. In You may I be pitied, pardoned, and forgiven!
I have erred and strayed from Your way as a lost sheep. I have wandered from the home of my God. I have been seeking my happiness in what is shadowy and unreal. The world and its delusive hopes have been preferred to You. My heart, which ought ever to be a little altar and sanctuary of praise, has burned with false incense. Your love and glory have not maintained their paramount place in my affections. I have righteously forfeited “the joys of Your salvation.” My only marvel is, that, as a wandering star, You have not left me to drift onwards to the blackness of darkness forever. O leave me not to perish! I mourn my wanderings. In leaving You, I feel I have left my best friend. I have caused an aching void in this heart, which the world, with all its joys and riches and pleasures, can never fill.
I cannot have one hour of happiness, if mingled with the thought that I am estranged from You, my God. Blissful hours of Your favor I once enjoyed, come sorrowfully to my remembrance; and, though the cup of earthly happiness be full to the brim, I have still to breathe the prayer, “Oh, that it were with me as in months past, when the candle of the Lord did shine!”
Adapted from the Rev. John McDuff, D.D., The Morning Watches, 1852.