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  • Writer's pictureRichard Parrish

Despair and Hope

The other day I read the following passage from Psalm 6:

“Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord—how long?” (Psalm 6:2–3).

As I slowly reflected on those words, they revealed emotions I had been sensing for some time. The term “languishing” jumped off the page. It’s a poetic Hebrew word that visualizes a drooping plant or someone whose head hangs low.

The Psalmist identified that his “bones are troubled.” The expression reveals a person in panic. The Psalmist is terrified, body and soul!

Many today are weary, weak, alarmed—even terrified. “How long will this [stress] continue?” Those two words: “How long,” are an expression of lament—a grieving and sorrow that penetrates to the bone.

If you’re like me, you may also be asking: How long, Lord? How long will evil prevail? How long before I find relief? Our lament is our cry of despair—and HOPE.

My lament reveals the languishing of my soul. Expressing our sorrow to God reflects our HOPE!

We remember:

“God keeps his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands” (Deut. 7:9).

What concerns you today? Are your bones aching? Is your soul disturbed? Is it time to care for your soul?

One way to care for your soul is to honestly, openly, and regularly express yourself to God. Because like the Psalmist, we also remember:

“The Lord [hears] my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer. All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment” (Psalm 6:9-10).

Today, may you remember God’s infinite care for your whole being, and be comforted.

-Richard Parrish


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