Wednesday, May 29, 2013
“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God! Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death, and my enemy will say, “I have prevailed”; my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.
But I trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.”
What I appreciate so much about this psalm is the expression of emotion. Psalm 13 is considered an individual lament psalm. You’ll notice that almost 1/3 of the psalms are lament psalms, in fact. Here in this particular psalm, we don’t know what kind of trouble is going on here contextually with the psalmist, but we know the psalmist is upset. At first, the psalmist addresses God, which is pretty typical of a lament psalm. Then we see the psalmist complain to God, also typical of a lament psalm. Then we see the psalmist cry out for help to God, also typical of a lament psalm. But then, something dramatic happens. The psalmist expresses trust in the Lord and praise to the Lord after all of that complaining and petitioning! This is also pretty typical of lament psalms – the sudden shift from lament to joy. I suppose what I appreciate about this psalm is its expression of the human experience. How naïve to think that every day of our lives will be drama-free and perfect. A lot of the time, we need to trust in God’s steadfast love and cling to God the most when times are hard. Suffering and hurt is real, but the good news is that praise and joy are real, too.
Prayer: Lord God, we acknowledge that we have days that aren’t our best and bring hurt to our hearts. But we thank you for your steadfast love and comfort. Help us to remember to cling to your love every single day. Help us to trust that love especially on the days when you feel so far away. In your Son’s name we pray, Amen.