Thursday, May 28, 2009

Psalm 107 and Going Through Tough Times

Having a hard time? Psalm 107 reminds me of the deep sense in which only those who have gone through great life struggles can truly "say so," claiming God's steadfast love endures forever.

The parallelism in the song is amazing. It describes four types of crisis situations God brings us through. It could be said that these four describe, in a nutshell, all of life's dark valleys.

Sometimes life is like wandering in a desert wildnerness, and sometimes it is like being imprisoned in darkness. Sometimes it is like being sick in sin, sometimes like being caught up in a storm. After each case is described, we come back to the sung refrain of thanksgiving for all that God brings us through.

This psalm could be the key to radically re-imagining your pain and difficulties. Spend a week with it and see what God does. Only the "redeemed" can possibly speak of such joy in God. In the midst of each of these kinds of dark journeys, we are made new.

What is it about walking through a dark valley that makes us more fully human and also more blessed by the divine? I've known all these journeys and it is part of the refining fire that has matured my spirituality. I'm presently walking through a journey of chronic illness with Sandy. Lord, show us our way through, our healing wholeness.

What about you?