Every day I hear of more despair, hardship and loss. In order to successfully navigate it, transformed rather than crushed, we need an example to follow. In Psalm 22, David unknowingly gives us just what we need.
He acknowledges his despair with honest expression of feeling abandoned by God. He freely asks where God is during this time. But he doesn’t stay there. He moves into recalling God’s faithfulness not only in the life of his ancestors, but in his personal experience. He begins to express gratefulness for what he recalls, in personal and corporate worship. His own despair becomes a platform for calling others to recall God’s faithfulness.
Next he moves into proclaiming the truth about God despite what he experiences. Regarding himself, he says, “But I am a worm and not a man. I am scorned and despised by all! Everyone who sees me mocks me. They sneer and shake their heads, saying, ‘Is this the one who relies on the Lord?'”
Regarding the Lord, he says:
22I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters. I will praise you among your assembled people… Show him reverence, all you descendants of Israel! 24For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy. He has not turned his back on them, but has listened to their cries for help.”Psalm 22:22-24
To be honest, I get lost in my feelings — I am a worm — rather than rehearsing the truth — he is not ignoring me! Sometimes, I just don’t know where to start. So I start with the basics. God is good. All the time. My situation is not a surprise to him. He already knew. Seeds planted in the fall, when everything is dying, produce new growth in the spring. Even the winter cold does not destroy the flower of the rhododendron or the magnolia. He is not ignoring me. He does not belittle my pain.
Let’s not miss the first part of the passage for today — telling someone else. It’s easy to rehearse the despair without recalling God’s goodness. He is not ignoring you and he most assuredly is not belittling your pain. Acknowledge the despair, recall what he has done in the past, share it with others, rehearse the truth. Keep calm and keep on! This too shall pass!