"I am the vine; you are the branches." — John 15:5

Monday, February 26 2018

The anguished cry of an ancient Hebrew psalmist traverses the eons and still speaks with eloquent despair to human souls.  There are dark days, troubled nights, brokenness, despair, fear and helplessness.  Hell on earth.

Perhaps, we even wonder, even God has forsaken us…

O Lord, God of my salvation, when, at night, I cry out in your presence, let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry…

For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. I am counted among those who go down to the Pit; I am like those who have no help, like those forsaken among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand. You have put me in the depths of the Pit, in the regions dark and deep. Psalm 88

Sometimes the depth of our pain seems shallow, at least to observers.  We may not be interested in the fact that others are worse off.  We may cultivate an attitude of ‘poor me’, moving from the Eeyore model, of Winnie the Pooh fame(“Don’t worry about me. Go and enjoy yourself. I’ll stay here and be miserable.”) to a veritable monologue of grievances, injustices and ailments.  A mirror conversation might be helpful: “How have I become a bitter complainer?  How can I get over myself and embrace life more fully?”

But our story might  be akin to the psalmist’s poignant lament.  And so often, when truly in the Pit, we do the one thing that will keep us there; we cut ourselves off.  We hide.  We keep secrets.  In our anger and our vulnerability we turn away even those closest to us or lash out against them.  Against everyone.  We refuse to consider outside help, even God’s.   And  then, from the bottom of the Pit, hear the Voice of the Holy One calling, we feel the warmth of the Comforter’s embrace, we catch a glimpse of a single ray of sunlight piercing the clouds…

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust I will trust I will trust in You

Trust in You by            Lauren Daigle, Michael Farren, Paul Mabury