Where do you turn when you have trouble, multiple troubles, heart-rending troubles, troubles that come in waves (7), “I’m-not-sure-I-can-go-on” troubles (4)? As you read this Psalm you see that the this man is so overwhelmed with his troubles that even his friends have turned away from him (8, 18). He even feels that God himself has cast his soul away and hides his face from him (14). All he knows is darkness (18). How much lower could a person possibly get? Another noticeable feature of this Psalm, unlike most Psalms of lament, is that there is no relief mentioned in the text. Perhaps it is hoped for and implied, but rescue from the troubles is not found…yet.
But what we do see in this deeply moving Psalm is where to turn in the midst of these kinds of trouble. The Psalmist points us in the right direction. He keeps on stressing that he is turning to God. “Day and night” he cries out to God (1). “Every day” he calls upon the Lord and spreads out his hands to him (9). “In the morning” his prayer goes up to God.
Though it is a tough message to accept, without the resolution of the conflict, we still can be blessed by following the Psalmist’s example. Never stop crying out to God! He alone is the source of peace and comfort and grace and strength. As his child, he will hear you.
Prayer: Father, rarely do we find ourselves in as depressing a situation as this Psalm. But sometimes, Lord, even small troubles can seem overwhelming at the time. Help us to learn the lesson of the Psalmist that we must turn to you. Lord, where else would we go? You alone have the words of life.