This is the prayer of an afflicted person who has grown weak and pours out a lament before the LORD.
1 Hear my prayer, LORD;
let my cry for help come to you.
2 Do not hide your face from me
when I am in distress.
Turn your ear to me;
when I call, answer me quickly.
3 For my days vanish like smoke;
my bones burn like glowing embers.
4 My heart is blighted and withered like grass;
I forget to eat my food.
5 In my distress I groan aloud
and am reduced to skin and bones.
6 I am like a desert owl,
like an owl among the ruins.
7 I lie awake; I have become
like a bird alone on a roof.
8 All day long my enemies taunt me;
those who rail against me use my name as a curse.
9 For I eat ashes as my food
and mingle my drink with tears
10 because of your great wrath,
for you have taken me up and thrown me aside.
11 My days are like the evening shadow;
I wither away like grass.
12 But you, LORD, sit enthroned forever;
your renown endures through all generations.
13 You will arise and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to show favor to her;
the appointed time has come.
14 For her stones are dear to your servants;
her very dust moves them to pity.
15 The nations will fear the name of the LORD,
all the kings of the earth will revere your glory.
16 For the LORD will rebuild Zion
and appear in his glory.
17 He will respond to the prayer of the destitute;
he will not despise their plea.
18 Let this be written for a future generation,
that a people not yet created may praise the LORD:
19 “The LORD looked down from his sanctuary on high,
from heaven he viewed the earth,
20 to hear the groans of the prisoners
and release those condemned to death.”
21 So the name of the LORD will be declared in Zion
and his praise in Jerusalem
22 when the peoples and the kingdoms
assemble to worship the LORD.
23 In the course of my life he broke my strength;
he cut short my days.
24 So I said:
“Do not take me away, my God, in the midst of my days;
your years go on through all generations.
25 In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
Like clothing you will change them
and they will be discarded.
27 But you remain the same,
and your years will never end.
28 The children of your servants will live in your presence;
their descendants will be established before you.”
Sometimes I go through a dark, lonely, desolate place in my life. Sometimes it seems as though the Enemy is truly out to destroy me and then I remember that he IS out to destroy me! He IS here to prey on me at my weakest moment. At times it seems as though no one can understand what I am going through. I look and look and can’t seem to find someone I can talk to who has been through what I am experiencing. Music helps. I have certain songs that I listen to, sing, and use to cry out to God; “In the Presence of Jehovah”, “I Bless Your Name”, and “Trust His Heart” to name a few.
God knows what I am going through. He not only understands, He is there waiting for me to come to Him. He waits for me to cry out to Him and to tell Him my deepest darkest secrets. Yes, He already knows them but He still wants me to come to Him and to confide in Him. He wants me to spill out the contents of my heart to him. He not only knows what I am going through, He also knows how it will all turn out. Sometimes I just need to be reminded of that. God already knows the answer and is just waiting for me to catch up to Him. There is some comfort in that and it brings to mind my favorite verse; John 16:31-33.
In it Christ is speaking to His disciples, shortly before His betrayal and crucifixion:
31 “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied.
32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Christ knew what was ahead of Him; the pain, suffering, and loneliness He would soon be experiencing. But, He also knew, as part of the Holy Trinity, that God had overcome not only anything ahead of Him, but anyone else, too! The image of the owl, in the Psalms passage above, struck me, so I did a little research: according to Fausset’s Bible Dictionary, “Psalm 102:6, “I am like an owl in a ruin expressing his loneliness, surrounded by foes, with none to befriend.”
But, I need to always remember, as it says in Psalms 102:11-18: We “wither like grass”, but He (God) “sits enthroned forever.” His “renown endures through all generations.” Through ALL generations! Generation after generation after generation, for ALL of the generations to come!
Verse 13- 18 says:
13. You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come.
14. For her stones are dear to your servants; her very dust moves them to pity.
15. The nations will fear the name of the Lord, all the kings of the earth will revere your glory.
16. For the Lord will rebuild Zion and appear in his glory.
17. He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.
18. Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.”
Not only does He KNOW what lies ahead for us but He has compassion and hears our heart’s cries!
Even when we feel as lonely as the desert owl, He responds to our prayers.
He sits on His throne, now and forever more, our loving, compassionate, and all-knowing ruler! Praise God!