Songs of Lament
I love the Psalms. It’s the song book of the Bible. As a worship leader and songwriter, I often go to the Psalms for songwriting material as well as for my own personal worship time. The greatest, most poetic words of praise ever written are in the Psalms.
But along with songs of praise to God, there are also psalms of lament. These are some of my favorites. As redeemed people, we are called to live lives of freedom, peace and joy. But we know all too well that we are not immune to the sorrows and calamities of this world. We are children of the Living God, but we walk in a fallen world.
Psalm 88 is one of my favorite songs of lament. The writer says, “O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you. May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry. For my soul is full of trouble and my life draws near the grave. I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am like a man without strength.” (Psalms 88: 1-4)
As long as I can remember, I have struggled with periods of depression and anxiety. Sometimes these episodes are directly related to some circumstance in my life, and sometimes it just comes out of nowhere, leveling my spirit and sucking the joy and light out of my life. Psalm 88 ends with “the darkness is my closest friend.” Anyone who has suffered through depression can relate to that.
And yet, in the very worst darkness, there is always hope. I have always found that Jesus follows me into the shadows. He will not leave me there to suffer alone. It takes time for the light to come sometimes, but it always appears. In the meantime, He covers me until the storm passes. David, the most famous psalm writer, says, “In the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.” (Psalm 57: 1 NKJV)
If you are suffering, hold on. Don’t lose hope. He is there. He is covering you.