August 8 I Sunday
“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the LORD directs His love, at night His song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.” —Psalm 42:7-8
Most of us are probably feeling the stresses of COVID that have been pervasive in our world. Some of us may be wrestling with mental health issues. Others may fear what the economy will look like after this pandemic is over. During the disorienting times of lockdowns, stay-at-home orders and new government restrictions, I found myself immersed in the book of Psalms.
We need to remember that God has spoken to His people and the Psalms was them answering back to God. The raw honesty in prayer is a theme throughout the Psalms. We consistently see people using imperative verbs to communicate to God the desperation of their circumstances. For example, Psalm 28:1 tells us, “To You, LORD, I call; You are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if You remain silent, I shall be like those who go down to the pit.” Psalm 69:15 goes, “Do not let the floodwaters engulf me or the depths swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me.” Psalm 130:1 says, “Out of the depths I cry to You, LORD; LORD, hear my voice. Let Your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.” And finally, Psalm 143:7 cries, “Answer me quickly, LORD; my spirit fails. Do not hide Your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.”
Do we feel the desperation behind these verses? As we consider our own life, maybe we are in that place today. Perhaps life feels like it is in the pits right now, where the light is dim and God’s face seems hidden to us. Our anxious thoughts just keep piling up and recycling in our brain over and over again.
The pit could be one that we dug ourselves and fell into because of our poor choices. But regardless of how we got into the pit, we can cry out to God from there. God can handle our anxious thoughts and He can handle our crying out to Him in the midst of a storm. When we feel overwhelmed, like we are sinking, we can cry out with urgency. Desperation is a language of the Psalms. While over half the Psalms are psalms of lament, they also served as a reminder to the Israelites, who were in exile— and also to us—of God’s faithfulness in the past.
What is precious about the psalms is not just the raw honesty, but a reminder of God’s unfailing love for us. We have hope in His sure and unconditional love to us, because it is firmly established by a covenant-keeping God.
Prayer: Loving Father, from the pit, I cry to You in desperation. I am overwhelmed by everything and the circumstances surrounding me. Yet, my hope rests in You alone. Thank You, Father.