A Psalm of David
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.
Forty percent of the psalms contained in scripture are psalms of lament – more than any other type. This makes sense when we think about how we as humans tend to spend more time complaining than praising. And yet, we tend to shy away from lament because we often feel like it shows too much doubt in God.
Lament may seem like it is the opposite of worship, but it is actually an act of the faithful. If things in your life aren’t going well – if your marriage is falling apart or you have lost your job or your child has cancer – you could choose to turn your back on God. In fact, you might interpret those circumstances as God not existing. But the act of lament shows that you have faith that God is there and that God is good. Lamenting says, “Lord, this is too much for me, but I know that it is not too much for you.” In this Psalm, David recalls how God has dealt bountifully with him and so he places his trust once again in God, even in the midst of feeling like God has given up on him.
God, there is no problem too small for us to bring to you. We pray that when life is too hard, too frustrating, too overwhelming, that you remind us that sharing our grief with you is a significant act of faith. Help us, in our darkest moments, to always look to you. Amen.