Daily D – Psalm 116:1-2
I love the LORD because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! PSALM 116:1-2 (NLT)
Every parent has held a baby who could not stop crying. The little one was not hungry, did not require a diaper change, and was not sleepy. He or she bore no obvious signs of anything causing pain or discomfort. Yet all he or she could do was cry.
Maybe you are having a day like that. If not today, you probably have had such a day. You probably will have such a day again.
Where do we go at times like that? Where do we go when we are all grown up and know how to take care of ourselves and our needs but nothing brings comfort? We have an open invitation to go to God.
Once upon a time, a poet recorded his experience in similar circumstances. He had a day when it felt like the world was collapsing in upon him. All the joy of life had been removed. Nothing could divert him from his sadness. All he could do was sigh and cry.
He did what we should do. He took his grief to God. What did he discover?
I love the LORD because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!
God listens. God leans in. He saves (vv. 3, 4, 6, 8). He extends mercy (v. 5). He protects (v. 6). He provides rest (v. 7). He reminds us of his constant presence (v. 9). He hears our deepest woes (v. 10).
He turns the quicksand of grief and loss into rock upon which we can stand and build. He shapes memorials and stands them up for us to look back upon one as reminders of how he demonstrated his presence and how he redeemed our pain.
Today may be the hardest of hard days in a long, long time. There is coming a tomorrow, however, when we will look back on this day with gratitude for all of God’s goodness, mercy, and love.
Feel your feelings. Express your pain to God. Let him heal your hurting heart. Remember the most powerful word in Psalm 23:4: “Even though I was throughthe darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” Never stop to stay in the middle of the journey. Let God lead you through it. This is the only way to get to the other side however long that may take.
I will walk through all of my griefs with God.
Our Father, sometimes grief and loss move in and act like they are going to stay forever. Thank you for how grief makes us slow down, be still, and take measure of what is most deeply important. Thank you such seasons do not last forever. Thank you for how you lead us through even the saddest of days. Your mercy on us in such times provides comfort and peace. Thank you for this ancient poem and the reminder it gives that grief is not the end of the story. Thank you for bending down to us when we cannot bear the weight of loss and our whispered prayers are muffled by tears. Amen.
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Leviticus 19:32-34 “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the Lord. “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
Luke 6:27-31 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”