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Reading:                                        Psalm 102                                                                  

A prayer of an afflicted person who has grown weak

and pours out a lament before the LORD.

 (Verses 1-11)

Hear my prayer, LORD;
let my cry for help come to you.
Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress.
Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly.

For my days vanish like smoke;
my bones burn like glowing embers.
My heart is blighted and withered like grass;
I forget to eat my food.

In my distress I groan aloud and am reduced to skin and bones.
I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake; I have become like a bird alone on a roof.
All day long my enemies taunt me;
those who rail against me use my name as a curse.
For I eat ashes as my food and mingle my drink with tears
because of your great wrath,
for you have taken me up and thrown me aside.
My days are like the evening shadow;
I wither away like grass
(NIV).

Reflection

If you have watched a friend or family member wither away due to the devastating effects of cancer, then you should have no difficulty identifying with the thoughts expressed here in this psalm. An enemy (cancer) is gnawing away at their very being. A sense of hopelessness and despair can easily settle in.

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Petrie Island Park, Ottawa, ON — photo by David Kitz  

This is when we need God the most, but in our distress He can seem strangely distant. Our cries seem to fall on deaf ears.

But…

But God is still there. Our faith may be shaken, but our LORD remains. Death may come knocking, but our LORD remains. Friends and family may forsake us, but Jesus remains by our side. Bad news does not take God by surprise. Though He is not the author of the bad news, our Lord knows what’s coming around the next bend in the road. He is prepared though we may not be. The Lord’s provisions are in place. Trust Him for that.

When the bottom falls out of your life, God is there to catch you. Trust Him for that. Though I may wither away like grass, I have a Savior who will receive me. Trust Him for that.

Response: Father God, when bad news comes I look to you. I call to you! Be my help when all human help and hope are gone. Lord Jesus, you are my Savior. In this moment I trust you for that! Amen.

Your Turn: Have you received bad news recently? Have you taken it all to the Lord?