Here’s a psalm that ends without a glimmer of hope.  Psalm 88 concludes with the psalmist shunned by friends and family, leaving him with darkness as his only companion.  What happened?  No happy ending?  Will find it elsewhere in the Psalms, but not here.

This psalm tells us what we already know.  Life, even as believers, isn’t always neat and tidy.  Things don’t always turn out the way we’d like them to.  We feel hemmed in.  In a fix that never gets fixed.  A fog that refuses to lift.  Through an exit leading to nowhere.  We know this.

Remember a time when you cry out to God, and no one seems to be there?  I do.  When friends quickly disappear.  Tongues wag with gossipy glee.  Did God let go of me?  Left to my own devices?  Too bad I couldn’t blame it all on others… or Him.

You know what I needed most?  Someone to sit by me.  Let me vent.  Use their two ears rather than a big mouth.  Possibly then I’d listen to the Lord.  Better chance than when you bomb me with guilt and unwelcome advice like Job’s friends did to him.  Or lob pointed Bible verses my way.  Here’s something else–pray with me.  Not blather some sneaky sermonette.  Pray.  Cry out to God.

In my story, life got better in some ways and not so great in others.  Not everything collapsed around me as I feared.  Neither did I get everything I hoped for.  You know how this can be.  Your experience as well?  I’m not surprised.

Looking back at Psalm 88 again, I notice something in that first verse– ‘O Lord, God of my salvation; I cry out day and night before you.’  Wait a minute.  He hasn’t lost his faith in the Lord.  He’s hanging on to Him for dear life as best he can.  You can also.  I did.  And I’m still holding on to the One who is my salvation.  No matter what.  Even if the happy ending will not be in this life.  Even then.  Especially then.

Prayer:  Thank you, Lord, that we can trust you in the darkest of times.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.




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