Psalm 88 is an interesting psalm for the season we are living in. Verses 3-18 seem like they could almost have been written today. The author is sick, confined, his friends can’t or won’t come to see him. He is feeling very alone.
Sound familiar? I have never felt the kind of aloneness that the psalmist is experiencing but it seems with the spread of the coronavirus, we are getting a bit of a taste of it. Quarantines, events halted, restaurants closed, church services cancelled, people staying at home, the world feels like a fluid place, no sure spot to plant our feet. It is a new reality. Perhaps we can identify with the words the psalmist cried out:
“I am overwhelmed with troubles and my life draws near to death. I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am like one without strength. I am set apart with the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more, who are cut off from your care. You have put me in the lowest pit, in the darkest depths. Your wrath lies heavily on me; you have overwhelmed me with all your waves. You have taken from me my closest friends and have made me repulsive to them. I am confined and cannot escape; my eyes are dim with grief. I call to you, Lord, every day; I spread out my hands to you. Do you show your wonders to the dead? Do their spirits rise up and praise you? Is your love declared in the grave, your faithfulness in Destruction? Are your wonders known in the place of darkness, or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion? But I cry to you for help, Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you. Why, Lord, do you reject me and hide your face from me? From my youth I have suffered and been close to death; I have borne your terrors and am in despair. Your wrath has swept over me; your terrors have destroyed me. All day long they surround me like a flood; they have completely engulfed me. You have taken from me friend and neighbor—darkness is my closest friend.”
The psalmist is being incredibly honest with the Lord about his fears and his plight. He is near death, trouble is at his front door as well as his back door. He is confined and alone. His friends have abandoned him. His situation is fluid, changing with every day. And yet he is not alone, and neither are we.
There is a place where we can plant our feet that is a sure foundation.
Psalm 88 begins with these words, “Lord, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you. May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.” Psalm 88:1-2
“Lord, you are the God who saves me”…today I am trusting in You even when the circumstances seem overwhelming.