Just Now

From Longing to Pray, p 21:

“[The psalmist] may well get over these feelings an hour from now, or certainly a week, a month, or a year from now. But that isn’t the point. The point is that he hurts just now, and that’s what his prayer is dealing with…. Just now, he hurts, and hurts deeply. Tell him later that he should have been more patient, and that he should have trusted God. That’s all right for later. But just now, it hurts, and he isn’t writing later, he’s writing just now.”

Psalm 102:1-11 (ESV) 

A prayer of one afflicted, when faint and pleading before the Lord.

1 Hear my prayer, O Lord;
    let my cry come to you!
Do not hide your face from me
    in the day of my distress!
  Incline your ear to me;
    answer me speedily in the day when I call!

For my days pass away like smoke,
    and my bones burn like a furnace.
My heart is struck down like grass and has withered;
    I forget to eat my bread.
Because of my loud groaning
    my bones cling to my flesh.
I am like a desert owl of the wilderness,
    like an owl of the waste places;
I lie awake;
    I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop.
All the day my enemies taunt me;
    those who deride me use my name for a curse.
For I eat ashes like bread
    and mingle tears with my drink,
10 because of your indignation and anger;
    for you have taken me up and thrown me down.
11 My days are like an evening shadow;
    I wither away like grass.


“This is strong language, no doubt about it, but it is so strong precisely because the psalmist is so confident of God’s character. He isn’t afraid that God’s love is provisional, that it will be withdrawn if we speak anything other than our better thoughts. In a sense, we can pay God no higher complement than to speak with utter candor. Such honesty reflects the quality of a truly great friendship–a friendship secure enough that we can speak our minds.”  (Longing to Pray, p 22-23)

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