Psalms 88 is a relevant song of lament for many of us right now. Though the actual circumstance the author is troubled by is not specified in the psalm, we can probably gather by the lines "I cry out day and night," and "Incline your ear to my prayer" and "My life is full of troubles" that this is major. The author is in serious distress.
I could list a few things that are not going as I would hope right now:
-We have to sell our house, and it's been a very strange process during a pandemic.
-I'm sometimes overwhelmed and burnt out by having to work in healthcare during these times.
-I feel totally inadequate trying to teach three children at home (thankfully by the time you read this, it will be summer, and that can be forgotten for a little while!)
-My Father-in-law had a heart attack, and my husband has had to spend a lot of time away, helping out at the family farm while his dad recovers.
Let me tell you, I can identify with this guy! Can you? My life is full of troubles, and I'm sure you have a list of your own!
The author says that his friends have even turned away and felt "shut-in." Again, we can relate. We are living in a time when we are restricted from gathering as a community, and we're told to stay home. It's lonely.
So what can we learn from this passage? It's so bleak. So hopeless. He's offered us no solution. Why would anyone want to sing this as a part of their Sunday morning worship set? I'll tell you what I see. I see a tough faith – a determined faith. Even though he feels alone, forgotten and defeated, he brings his troubles to the Lord. Day and night, he prays. That's something we all can strive for! A faith that perseveres even in the hardest of times.
God hears the righteous's cries and promises to deliver us from our troubles (Ps 34:4). There's our hope! I encourage you today, continually bring your prayers to our Father. He hears. He cares. He will deliver you.
Worship leader and Mom to three great kids