Psalm 27 is one of the lectionary readings this week. It is a Psalm of both trust in God and lament. While it begins by exhorting God’s strength and the Psalmist’s trust in God, it continues with a lament of the God who brings trouble through hardship. We can’t tell the exact hardship in this Psalm, but we know it is severe and all-consuming. When we have all-consuming hardships, do we talk to the Lord about them and cry out for assistance?
Talk to God – I cannot find a place where complaints are not a part of a healthy prayer life. The Psalmist asks the Lord to “be merciful to me and answer me (vs. 7)”, and urges God to “not hide your face from me (vs. 9)”. We all have troubles – most recently for me, my temperamental stomach has reared its ugly head once again. The pain has been, at times, all-consuming and results in a feeling of general malaise.
As I complain to anyone available, I especially complain to God. Psalm 27 shows us that we can praise and be faithful of the Lord in the same breath as complaining to him of an illness or other problem. Faith and doubt live in all of us. Lent is a great time to have truthful, rich conversations with God – those that are in your heart.
The Psalm ends with an important verse: “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” We are to trust that the Lord will see us through our trials along with our successes. Tell your story to the Lord – let God hear about your successes along with your laments. God is full of compassion for all of us. This Lord is available for all that is on your plate.
Lord, guide us through our daily triumphs and troubles. Help us to be strong in the times when it is not so easy to trust, and help us to wait for you. Let us ever request to be closer to you, whether or not we always feel your loving presence through our uncertainties in our lives. Amen.