Text Size: Zoom In

Humpty-Dumpty Days

November 9, 2018

“I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” Psalm 13:5

Have you ever stopped to think about the fact that children’s nursery rhymes are a little bizarre? Take, for instance, the depressing tale of Humpty Dumpty.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men,
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

While I wonder about the wisdom of entertaining little kids with such a grim tale, I have to admit that I am a little confused as to why an egg would ever sit on a wall in the first place! And what exactly would we expect the horses to do about it? So, why are we pinning our hopes on them? A great bumper sticker expresses the convictions of a conspiracy theorist, stating, “Humpty Dumpty was pushed!”

But, as silly as all of that is, we have to admit that there are days when you and I feel a lot like Humpty Dumpty. The broken pieces of life seem hopelessly shattered, and for the life of us we don’t have a clue about how to put them back together again.

So, what do we do when life has us in pieces at the bottom of the wall? Read and embrace the truth of Psalm 13 1:6!

David starts the psalm with refreshing honesty—the kind of candor we unfortunately don’t often encounter in church world. In his despair, he complains, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?” (Psalm 13:1). He feels hopeless and, worse yet, abandoned by God. So, in desperation he throws himself on the mercy of God, pleading, “Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death” (Psalm 13:3). But even as he expresses his hurt and anguish, the tone of David’s prayer changes. In Psalm 13:5, David’s attention shifts from his broken life to the solid, unchanging character of God. Of course, intense prayer always does that. When you’re with God, you can’t help but shift your attention from yourself to Him. Seeing God afresh, David’s heart is finding new strength as he affirms, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation” (Psalm 13:5).

The English language can’t possibly do justice to the original word used here. Translated as “unfailing love,” the Hebrew word hesed means the kind of faithful, eternal love for us that is rooted in God’s very nature. It is never based on our circumstances, moods, or actions. It is a love that acts on our behalf in spite of anything, and thankfully it is a love that is backed, as the psalmist says, by the full power of God to save us in the midst of trouble.

David came to realize that if he knew the “who” in his situation, he didn’t need to understand the “why.” In fact, he didn’t even need answers about the “how” of the situation, such as: How was he going to get out of it? How God would put him back together again? His Father would take care of him and somehow, even in his shattered state, he could rest in that.

When your life is splattered at the bottom of the wall, turn your heart to Him and you will see afresh that we have a King who knows how to put broken lives back together again. With the assurance of God’s unfailing love for us, regardless of our circumstances, we can rest assured that He ultimately will do for us what no one could do for poor Humpty Dumpty.


  • Are you experiencing, or have you experienced, a season of feeling broken and shattered?
  • How do those seasons impact your relationship with God? Are you able to be honest and transparent in your prayers, even if that means pouring out your frustration and grief to Him?
  • How does it encourage you to know that God’s love—no matter what—is unfailing and constant?