One of the wonderful things about the Psalms is that when we feel our life is in the pits, we can turn to many of these psalms and feel, at least for a moment, like we are not alone. I feel that companionship of the psalmist on my spiritual journey when I read lines like these….
Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me,
For I am poor and needy. (Psalm 86:1)
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… (Psalm 88:1-3)
However, the even better thing about the Psalms is that they do not leave us in the pit, but rather, show us the way out….
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
And I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your steadfast love toward me… (Psalm 86:12-13)
Even psalms that end on a downer, like Psalm 88, “You have caused friend and neighbor to shun me; my companions are in darkness,” are followed by an upswing, “I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 89:1)
Sometimes, simply by saying, or in some cases, singing the psalms aloud, we can be delivered from the depths of despair. Or when this does not work, following the psalmist’s example, and giving thanks to the Lord in our own words, listing the things for which we have to be thankful, will lift us out of the slough of despond.
Why not take some time today to soak in the Psalms and let the words comfort your heart?