While cleaning my house the other day, God laid a word on my heart that I wasn't quite ready to give a definition for. "Contrite", much like so many other words of the Old Testament, isn't used much in today's society. However, most of us have or will experience what it is to be contrite.
After a little research, I was made aware that there are actually two very similar definitions depending on context.Isaiah 57:13 "For thus says the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite." Twice in the same verse is this word mentioned each time carrying a little different meaning or level of degree.
"Contrite" is a derivitive of the Greek root word "daka" which actually means broken, bruised, crumbled, etc.. This is an indication that there is still life left in us. Why?
The second application of the word comes later in vs15, this time, with a little more intense. The Greek translation here is "dakka" which basically means pulverize. It's when our pride is obliterated that we are in a proper state of worship.
Being in a contrite (daka) physical state doesn't guarantee a contrite (dakka) spiritual state! We are simply given a choice of whether to react or respond. Job was most definitely in a broken physical state and, based on scripture (Job 1:20), he tore his clothes, shaved his head, dropped to his knees.... AND WORSHIPED. Wow! Suddenly, he was brought to the realization that, once the dust settles, only one thing remains. A holy God. It is this same holy God desires a relationship with us. It is the same holy God that desires to see his own reflection is us and, in spite of our perceived circumstances, offers another chance at life abundant.
Psalm 51:1-17 is a beautiful picture of a man who has been put under a microscope and exposed for who he is. In that state he recognizes that life without God is not only futile but not possible. The psalmist makes a choice in his broken state to receive the nourishment that he so desperately needs and so commits to the Lord's will.
When you find yourself crushed under an avalanche of desperation but not quite smothered, take that moment of silence to say goodbye to pride and bury it. What you'll find is, with proper nourishment, new fruit in the Spring.