“Hear my prayer, O LORD;
let my cry come to you!”
The psalmist is desperate, very desperate. The following is how the psalmist describes own situation.
“For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace, my heart is struck down like grass and has withered; I forget to eat my bread. Because of my loud groaning my bones cling to my flesh. I am like a desert owl of the wilderness, like an owl of the waste places; I lie awake; I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop. All the day my enemies taunt me; those who deride me use my name for a curse. For I eat ashes like bread and mingle tears with my drink, because of your indignation and anger; for you have taken me up and thrown me down. My days are like an evening shadow; I wither away like grass.” (Psalm 102:3-11)
What a vivid picture of our afflicting days! We all have such days. I had them just weeks ago. We are indeed very weak. We may look okay on the outside perceived by other people, but this is actually what happens in the daily lives of human soul. It’s an experience of hell, sometimes. We all know it. Our struggle is deeply spiritual whether we recognize it or not.
The psalmist doesn’t stop here, though. He (given the time of the writing of Psalms, it is probably correct to think of the author as male than female) is wise. Now that he poured out his anguished heart before God, he shifts his focus from himself to God who stands in sharp contrast of infinite degree.
“But you, O LORD, are enthroned forever; you are remembered throughout all generations. You will arise and have pity on Zion; it is time to favor her; the appointed time has come.” (Psalm 102:12-13)
God is different. Not only that, He is also merciful, and has pity on his children. “For the LORD builds up Zion; he appears in his glory; he regards the prayer of the destitute and does not despise their prayer” (Psalm 102:16-17). He answers the prayers of the desperate people! He doesn’t despise their prayer, he regards them with pity, he is compassionate.
“that he looked down from his holy height; from heaven the LORD looked at the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die,” (19-20)
God listens to our groans when we’re enslaved. He wants to set us free and he does set us free. The Gospel. “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1). We have to remember the Gospel. The gospel sounds almost too familiar to some of us. We say, “yeah, yeah, of course, the gospel,” and then don’t really think about it. We need to think deeply into the implications of the gospel, rehearsing the whole story once again in our minds and letting it capture and stir our heart. It requires time, a committed time set aside for Jesus only. No distraction, just Jesus and me. And the Holy Spirit does his work within us, if only we would spend time with him in this way.
We’re weak, our lives are a mess, looking down and within, we have no hope, nor strength, nor will. But it’s okay. It’s okay because God is strong AND merciful. We can be hopeful in Him. We’re secure in Christ.
“They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end. The children of your servants shall dwell secure; their offspring shall be established before you.” (Psalm 102:26-28)
Let us look to God in our desperate times.