In Regions Dark and Deep

“O Lord, God of my salvation,
    I cry out day and night before you.
Let my prayer come before you;
    incline your ear to my cry!

For my soul is full of troubles,
    and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
    I am a man who has no strength,
like one set loose among the dead,
    like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
    for they are cut off from your hand.
You have put me in the depths of the pit,
    in the regions dark and deep.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
    and you overwhelm me with all your waves.
 

You have caused my companions to shun me;
you have made me a horror to them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call upon you, O Lord;
I spread out my hands to you…
Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
Are your wonders known in the darkness,
or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?” Psalm 88:1-9,11-12

The answer is a bold, loud, resounding Yes! In every region of mind, heart, and experience, in every dark tunnel, deep chasm, and cobbled alley, God’s love is declared! His faithfulness reaches! His wonders occur! His righteousness prevails! His balm soothes every pang!

The psalms are personally and pointedly helpful in relating real struggles of real people. They can exquisitely mimic our very felt needs, deep regrets, and agonized questions. The descriptions of each night of soul are consistently met with mention of morning, just as in God the Creator’s majestic plan, every dark night is faded and followed by day. Jesus came as light into darkness, and He pledges to dispel it for us, no matter its source or measure. (John 1:4-5,9,14; 8:12)

We may be overwhelmed by besetting sin, our flesh inability to rid of pesky, relentless temptation. We may be battling an incurable disease, and face decision after difficult decision on our next course of action. We may be suffering unjustly under another’s mistreatment, false accusation, or broken communication through no fault of our own. We may be slammed by rejection every time we attempt headway. There are sorrows and horrors of this life we will not escape until we meet Jesus, yet He abides with steadfast love and constancy in the midst here below. (Psalm 46:1-3; 1 John 1:6-9;3:2)

What confusions, what predicaments, what griefs and horrid places and dreams have we allowed to take on darkness by keeping them from our Lord? There is no place too deep for His reach, His arm is not short to save. Would we come as the psalmist, and lay out our concerns, not in exasperated defeat, but in expectant surrender to His ability and promises? Would we walk with Jesus step by step, in His light of lamppost after lamppost? Would we honestly ask our questions, then receive, believe, and thank Him for His answers? (Psalm 139:7-12; Isaiah 59:1)

Good Father, tighten my grip on You, and Yours on me. Bring gracious morning into my every dark region, so I spontaneously praise You as my salvation in trouble. (Isaiah 33:2)

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