What should you do then, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each one has a song, has a lesson, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all these things be done for the strengthening of the church. 1 Corinthians 14:26
In our Sunday School class, we were encouraged to write a personal psalm, as a different form of expression of our worship to God. As I pondered the concept, I realized that there are different kinds of psalms, written on different occasions and for different purposes. There are different styles, different voices, different moods. But one thing they have in common is a raw, earthy, visceral honesty about the things we face as we go though life on this earth. Unjust attacks by enemies, our own sin and guilt, wisdom on how to live godly lives, and simple, unfettered praise to God. So what would I write?
My neighbor is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum
, or HG. This is her second pregnancy, and her suffering was quite severe the first time. If anything, this time seems to be worse. The disease takes a heavy physical and emotional toll on her and everyone around her. Although there is joy in the expectation of a new baby, right now that is too abstract a thing to think about. So I wrote this, to give voice to pain and desperation. I hope it communicates to you.
The road is hard before me.
My way is steep and full of obstacles.
The rocks bruise and cut my feet.
My strength is gone.
My companions have forsaken me.
Each of them has fallen away in exhaustion.
My loved ones do not understand my sorrow.
They are little comfort to me.
I am encircled by betrayal
My own body fails me and turns against me.
Like an enemy camped around me
I am assaulted from every side.
I take no delight in my food.
It does not nourish me.
Oh that even water would refresh me.
The days bring me no joy.
But you, oh God, sustain me.
I have no other hope but you.
Your mercies are tender towards me
In you I find rest.
You are worthy of praise.
From the lips of babes and nursing infants
Your praises will be declared.
Even my own lips will praise you once again.
If you are suffering, don’t be afraid to cry out to God. Express the reality of your hurt, your anger, your suffering. He understands and he cares. And he will always be there to walk through each and every situation with you.
If you have a friend or loved one who is going through something you can’t comprehend, don’t try. I’ll tell you a secret. It’s actually much easier to be the one suffering than to watch one you love suffer. Don’t be afraid to endure the ugliness of another’s pain. Just be there. Let them know that, no matter what, you love and support them. Your presence means more than anything else, proving that you are not scared away by hurt, discomfort, or even bodily fluids.
As another friend said, we don’t know what the future holds, but we do know who holds the future.