“O Lord, God of my salvation, I cry out to you by day. I come to you at night. Now hear my prayer; listen to my cry. For my life is full of troubles, and death draws near. I am as good as dead, like a strong man with no strength left. They have left me among the dead, and I lie like a corpse in a grave. I am forgotten, cut off from your care. You have thrown me into the lowest pit, into the darkest depths. Your anger weighs me down; with wave after wave you have engulfed me. Interlude You have driven my friends away by making me repulsive to them. I am in a trap with no way of escape. My eyes are blinded by my tears. Each day I beg for your help, O Lord; I lift my hands to you for mercy. Are your wonderful deeds of any use to the dead? Do the dead rise up and praise you? Interlude Can those in the grave declare your unfailing love? Can they proclaim your faithfulness in the place of destruction? Can the darkness speak of your wonderful deeds? Can anyone in the land of forgetfulness talk about your righteousness? O Lord, I cry out to you. I will keep on pleading day by day. O Lord, why do you reject me? Why do you turn your face from me? I have been sick and close to death since my youth. I stand helpless and desperate before your terrors. Your fierce anger has overwhelmed me. Your terrors have paralyzed me. They swirl around me like floodwaters all day long. They have engulfed me completely. You have taken away my companions and loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend.” Psalms 88:1-18 NLT
This Psalm is a lamentation of life and its suffering. There are times when we wonder if God is even aware of, or listening to, our prayers. Sickness afflicts our bodies, our friends abandon us, and death is lurking all around. We long for deliverance and we want God to restore us. The inherent struggles of generational family dysfunction, the mistakes we've made, and the constant challenges of life taunt us. We long for rest.
All of us age and get older. Life changes. The grave gets closer and closer. All we want is to enjoy our lives while we can. We must accept the reality that life won't always be comfortable or easy. Difficulties will naturally arise and the struggle will be real. In those moments, we need to cry out to God. Even if we have to pour out our despair and disappointment, let's do so. God already knows our inner turmoil as well as our exterior adversity. He is the only One who completely understands. He desires for us to purge our hearts and minds in conversation with Him. He longs for us to come to Him and He makes Himself accessible and available. Are you deeply distressed and troubled today? Cry out to God. Pour out your soul to Him. He's able to hear and help!
Rev. Curtis Norris