Currently, at my church, we are studying various books of Psalms.
Last week we read over Psalm 88 – it is deep and dark, and not fully of praise and hope like a lot of the Psalms we are used to:
“my soul is full of troubles… you have put me in the depths of the pit…your wrath lies heavy upon me…you have caused my companions to shun me…”
Whoa, okay. Things are rough for the author of this Psalm. “Sorry for him, but really I’m not in that kind of time right now in my life so I can’t really relate, but I’ll take notes for one day (far, far away) when I am feeling dark and lowly,” I thought during the sermon.
Our pastor addressed how the psalmist still prayed during his darkness, whether or not he felt God was near.
He gave us a quote regarding this Psalm, which sticks with me today (I cannot remember the source), “It stands as a mark of realism of Biblical faith.” We will suffer, we will find ourselves in the pit, we will feel a loss of hope.
And then my pastor stated, “lamentation is the recognition that where we are at in our lives is not where we are meant to be.”
A- to the -men! We are free to lament! God invites us to lament to Him! He doesn’t send condemnation, He listens and I believe offers a little side-smirk, as He thinks to Himself “oh, but if you only knew what is ahead!”
So… funny how things work, because just 4-5 days later, I found myself in a bit of darkness…
And yesterday, it all came to fruition. I was in that pit the psalmist talked about. I sat down in tears and read Psalm 88 word for word – now from my own darkness. It took some time because the tears overwhelmed my outloud prayer/reading.
And then I continued reading aloud in prayer to Psalm 89. The author is not the same, nor is the tone of the Psalm.
Here, here there is hope! I like to think they were situated in God’s word like this for a reason.
Oh, we may not feel hope, but there is hope. Don’t stop at the pit, keep going, keep reading!
When things are tough, when you feel so dark and there is no hope, when you are deep in the pit – PRAISE!