December 5, 2022

Thoughts for the Very Worst


Praise the Lord; praise God our savior!  For each day he carries us in his arms. Psalms 68:19

There are times in life when there are no explanations. The worst has happened. It’s hard to even breathe.

Diana’s young adult son had beaten cancer. But then an infection took his life and it seemed to take Diana’s life as well. The grief was overwhelming. Diana said, “I can’t go on” and crawled into bed. But a friend of Diana’s followed her up to her room and just lay down on the bed next to her, in silence.

David, the author of many of the Psalms, knew despair. Living on the run, under a death threat, for years, he also experienced bitter sorrow over his own sin. “I [would have] fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living,” he wrote (Psalms 27:13). But David didn’t give up on the nature of God in pain or in grief. In Psalm 68, David recognized that, at times in life, it is God Who must carry us or we won’t be moving at all.  “Praise the Lord; praise God our savior!” Psalm 68:19 (NLT) reads, “For each day he carries us in his arms.” Or, as another translation puts it, Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up” (Psalms 68:19 ESV).

This is how we can pray for those we love, in the very worst of times. We can ask God to carry them gently, according to His great love. The words of Psalms 138:8 tell what is sure: “The Lord will work out his plans for my life [or for the life of one you love]—for your faithful love endures, O Lord, endures forever.  Don’t abandon me, for you made me” (Psalms 138:8).