“For my soul has had enough troubles”

Freya's Tears
Freya cries golden tears in this photo print detail
reproduction of a painting inspired by a Norse Myth.
(Artist:  Gustaf Klimt)

Psalm 88

O Lord, the God of my salvation,
       I have cried out by day and in the night before You
Let my prayers come before You
       Incline Your ear to my cry!
For my soul has had enough troubles                                Psalm 88:1-3a

“For my soul has had enough troubles.” 

Is there a parent who hasn’t wept out a similar prayer? 

A mom is enduring a daughter fighting for her life with picc-lines and blood tests, and transplants and at the same time, a husband who has bailed on the marriage.

A middle-aged man is struggling to raise two daughters and a son after a wife walked out of the lives of all four.

There’s a wife wondering if her husband will come home or be found in gutter after a night of drinking. There’s a father wondering when a son will return his love and a mother wondering when a daughter will stop giving her body away. Parents are broken over the cowardice of a child, or the faithlessness of a grandchild, or declining portfolio of their nest egg as their retirement years loom on the horizon.

A son fails to show any respect or love for his heritage. A daughter drifts through life with an aimlessness that looks like an escalator to hell. These are the kinds of experiences that pepper a pastor’s craft and challenge his heart as he seeks to shepherd the flock of God. They remind him of the story of redemption and assure him that he is not alone in the day and night cries of anguished hearts. And they are, each one of them, a painful reminder that sin hurts and we need God to incline His heart to our cries. 

And that is one reason why we run to the Scriptures. They assure us that the tears we cry in the heartaches of life are not lost on a God who “keeps count of our tossings and holds our tears in a bottle” (Psalm 56:8).

Songwriter Jamie Anderson has captured the connection between love and grief.

Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.

~ Jamie Anderson

So for all of you who love much and therefore risk grief every day,
  • for all of you who cry out your heart day and night for your children,
  • or your husband,
  • or your wife,
  • or your mother,
  • or father,
  • or niece
  • or nephew
  • or friend, may you not grow weary in your cries, and may you always remember, that your Redeemer lives and He remembers too and He will keep His promises and vindicate the righteous.

Your God has not forgotten you. Sometimes, it feels like He has; Psalm 88 gives evidence that even the sons of Korah felt that way at times.

But He hasn’t and He wont.

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”   

Hebrews 13:5

Trust Him.
Cry out to Him.
He will listen and He will act.

Update:  Another offering for the Poetry Project coming soon

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