“I cry aloud to God,
aloud to God, that he may hear me.
In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
my soul refuses to be comforted. ” (Psalms 77:1-2)
Two times past, when I have come to the psalms passage, I have revealed to you my thoughts and approaches to the psalms. Do you remember? When I am in a prickly, bad mood – the psalms do not reach me. My anger and discount forms a wall that will not be breached. I need to cool down and de-stress before the words of the psalmist can reach me. When I am musing and soulful, letting my thoughts and emotions wander – I can sit with the psalms and let the psalmist thoughts inspire my own. Then days like to today, when I am anxious and not doing well physically and emotionally – the psalms become my words and I have nothing more to say or add.
I cry out, because I hurt and am in pain. I do not have the words to speak, nor the breath to speak them. So I silently call on the Lord and beg for intercession. These first two verses of this psalm say for me what I would say if I could.
The psalmist has more to say, more words than I want to or can use. And the RCL cites them, going on verse after verse. And I am pulled along, and find myself thinking on these things. I remember in times past, when I have called upon the Lord to help me, the Divine has been there to support and under gird me. My help and strength comes from the Lord; my support and sustenance comes from the hand of God.
“Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is so great as our God?
You are the God who works wonders; you have displayed your might among the peoples.
With your strong arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah” (Verses 13 – 15)
In my praise of God, the words of the psalmist flow over me, and I echo them in my heart and soul.
“When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; the very deep trembled.
The clouds poured out water; the skies thundered; your arrows flashed on every side.
The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lit up the world; the earth trembled and shook.
Your way was through the sea, your path, through the mighty waters; yet your footprints were unseen.
You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.” (Verses 16 – 20)
This is the gift and the blessing of the psalms. Speaking for use when our own words fail us. Reminding us of the Lord’s strength and might when ours is small and helpless against our circumstances. May you too, beloved reader, allow the words of the psalmist speak for you if and when your circumstances leave you without word, breath, or might. Selah!