Psalm 38 (Psalms on the Trail)

Psalm 38:15


“For in you, O Lord, have I fixed my hope;

 you will answer me, O Lord my God.”

Psalm 38:15

Reflection:  Nothing is going well for this psalmist.  He has gotten himself into trouble and is overwhelmed by remorse.  Relationships have fallen apart.  Friends and neighbors have distanced themselves.  Others, going too far, are trying to ruin him wrongfully.  Meanwhile he’s become physically ill and weak. He confesses sin and at the end of the psalm he begs God not to forsake him but to help him quickly.  If there is ever a psalm that expresses the cries of someone who is desperate, it is this one.  Yet tucked away in the middle of the storm, is a quiet moment.  Grief is put on pause and his world’s woes are dimmed just for a breath.  And the breath is why he is praying about things in the first place.  His hope in this situation is God.  That’s where he is fixing his hope.  He has no confidence that help will come from any other quarter, but he believes God can and will answer.    The “fixed hope” only gets a moment of attention before the waves crash in again.  But it is a powerful moment where he points the way for us.


1. Take this verse with you and ponder its meaning for you throughout the day.  What do you notice?  What do you wonder?

2. Or read all of Psalm 38 to discover how this verse fits into the psalm or to discover a different verse.

3. Or comment with a photo of your own that illustrates this verse’s meaning for you.

Tomorrow’s verse is from Psalm 39:12.

Starting January 1, 2016, for 150 days I am posting a daily psalm verse with a photo that is a visual meditation on the text for me.  Each day a verse from the next psalm is chosen until all 150 psalms have been featured.   To participate you may subscribe to my blog at or “friend” me on Facebook and watch for the daily links to blog posts.  Disclaimer:  I am not a photographer and most of the photos are from a cell phone or small camera while hiking the Appalachian Trail or the C&O Canal/Great Allegheny Passage Trail.