Taking It to God

It is Ash Wednesday as I write this, and I feel like lamenting. Not just being somber and penitent in the face of the reality of human sin and mortality, but outright lamenting. As many of you know, Jan has Parkinson’s disease and PTSD which together make life very difficult. Her Parkinson’s has begun to progress into some more pressing challenges, such as serious balance problems and the presence of vivid hallucinations. It is getting harder and harder to have good days. And in the past two weeks, we have added a diagnosis of diabetes to the mix. This has been a very difficult fortnight.

Fortunately, the Psalms help give voice to this kind of situation. In Psalm 13, David calls on God to complain about his plight, and to ask for God’s help.

How long, O Lord? Wilt thou forget me forever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me?

How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; Lighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; lest my enemy say “I have prevailed over him”; lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in thy steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.

I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Sometimes the enemy that confronts us is not a person or external enemy, but a medical or physical condition. It is reassuring to know that it is okay to complain to God, and that God wants us to be in communication whether our experience is one of joy or one of lament.

Loving God, Help us to understand why bad things happen to good people. Help us to recognize and be open to your love and care for us even in our times of discouragement or distress. And most of all, help us continue to be in communication with you in all our situations in life. Amen.

Dave Erickson-Pearson

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