In my day of trouble I sought the Lord. My hands were lifted up all night long; I refused to be comforted. At night I remember my music (vv. 2-6a).
Why is it that one’s troubles seem so much worse at night? There have been times when I’ve been so disturbed I couldn’t sleep. Tossing and turning, I’ve asked the same questions the psalmist asked so long ago: Does God still love me? Has he forgotten me? Can he hear my prayer? Is he mad at me? Has he turned his back on me forever?
Asaph feels utterly abandoned by God and cries out but finds no comfort for his churning emotions. Recalling times in the past when God has acted in his behalf, he is puzzled now by God’s silence. The Lord seems distant, remote, even angry. Asaph is experiencing deep, personal pain and begins a downward spiral on a decrescendo of depression (vv. 7-9).
Rejection breeds deep inner fear that can hold the spirit in a vice like grip. In my midnight hours, irrational emotions sweep over me like waves in a turbulent sea.
My fellow musician did the right thing in venting his feelings. Asaph was learning some of the deep mysteries of life in God’s school of suffering. He was learning to wait patiently for the Lord. He was learning that honesty precedes spirituality, and that lament almost always precedes praise.
Lord, I’m hurting. Right now, in the soul-deep darkness of my night, I cry out for relief Let me hear some note of hope.