Day 18 – Psalm 88:13-18
13 But I, O LORD, cry to You;
in the morning my prayer comes before You.
14 O LORD, why do You cast my soul away?
Why do You hide Your face from me?
15 Afflicted and close to death from my youth up,
I suffer Your terrors; I am helpless.
16 Your wrath has swept over me;
Your dreadful assaults destroy me.
17 They surround me like a flood all day long;
they close in on me together.
18 You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me;
my companions have become darkness.
Prayer of Reflection:
“O Father, how dark this song of lament is! Afflictions, terrors, helplessness, abandonment, darkness, wrath: these are all the stench of hell. The weight of troubles piled upon this person would be unbearable, and yet, I know this is where many of Your beloved people are even now.
“I know I am not immune to any of the troubles listed in this prayer to You. That is a reality that scares me, Father. You are so powerful, so pure, so holy that I could never stand before You in my sin or human frailty. This Psalmist not only realized that but felt it keenly. Your hand was heavy on him, and he writes out of his deep suffering. It seems as if You’ve abandoned him, Father. Yet the more I’ve read his words, the more I see two truths that prove You never abandoned him: he pleads Your covenant name, meaning he knows you’re a covenant keeping God, and no matter the pain, he keeps praying to You. This is my hope too, LORD: You are a faithful God of covenant to me, and You will hold me fast so I can still cry out to You, even if pain should be my portion.
“Ultimately, I hear the words of my Savior and Your beloved Son Jesus in this Psalmist’s cry. His portion on the cross was affliction, terrors, helplessness, abandonment, darkness and all of Your wrath. I am humbled and worship Him, for when Your children experience deep suffering and anguish now, we will never face Your wrath. In Your love for us, You afflicted and abandoned your Son. And You raised Him in power from the dead to reign over our grief, giving us purpose in them. Thank you, Father.
“Help me and my grieving brothers and sisters to remember Your covenant with us and to continue fervently in faithful prayer to You. Amen.”
by Joe Kappel