Wednesday, November 9, 2022

5 Shocking Statements the Psalmist Makes about Pain

Waiting for surgery

Big Idea: Pain and suffering is understood by the Psalmist in the Bible who models frank dialogue with God.

Pain off the Charts

Writhing with abdominal pain in the hospital a couple of months ago, I cried and moaned in the darkest of night in prayer. My electronic Bible search uncovered 5 shocking statements the Psalmist uttered in pain. His pain taught me how to endure mine in those dark hours.

I had broken my foot, then my gallbladder caused my liver to backup, turning me jaundiced with itching head to toe. By my third hospital day with little to eat or drink, I was parched. An ERCP procedure unclogged the common bile duct but bile poured out on my pancreas. My pancreatic pain the next couple of days was off the charts.

I get migraines. I process intense pain talking softly to myself or moaning softly out loud. Sounding decidedly like David in the Psalms that night I looked up how pain was expressed in the Psalms. The Bible does not sugarcoat life nor show off spiritual giants as perfect humans. The Bible shows us how to cope with real life.

5 Shocking words from the Psalmists

1. How long will you forget me?

Straight and to the point, he does not sense God in his pain. He feels forgotten. Abandoned.

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Psalm 22:1 NLT

O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? Psalm 13:1 NLT

2. I am exhausted and completely crushed.

Illness get wearisome. Pain is downright exhausting. It is hard to bear.

I am exhausted and completely crushed. My groans come from an anguished heart. Psalm 38:8 NLT

From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Psalm 61:2 NLT

3. You keep track of all my sorrows.

The King of Israel, a ruler and warrior, cries. He sobs. He knows God sees the tears. Our tears and our pain are not hidden from Him and The Psalmist finds consolation in this. I do too!

I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears. Psalm 6:6 NLT

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8 NLT

I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me. Psalm 69:3 NLT

4. I am alone and in deep distress.

I often have trouble sleeping. It is especially worse in pain or worried about something. In pain one often feels alone, and the middle of the night pain and anxiousness is increasingly worse.

Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress. Psalm 25:16 NLT

They have left me among the dead, and I lie like a corpse in a grave. I am forgotten, cut off from your care. Psalm 88:5 NLT

5. Hurry please.

It is so interesting that, in talking to the God of the universe, the Psalmist asks Him, pleads with Him to hurry. And he adds, please.

O God, don’t stay away. My God, please hurry to help me. Psalm 71:12 NLT

O Lord, I am calling to you. Please hurry! Listen when I cry to you for help! Psalm 141:1 NLT

How this helped me

I love it that we can tell God exactly what we think and don’t need to feel He is going to slap us for it. God wants our authenticity, not a fabricated front or flowery words. He is real, and He is real with us. The Psalmist, through each Psalm, reflects what he knows about God and affirms truth. He leans on it. As I read these verses on that painful lonely night in the hospital, I used this model to pray and felt His comforting presence.


Up next: How am I supposed to be nice when I feel LOUSY!
Previous post: 3 Things I Miss Since I Broke My Foot


1. Have you ever had a really frank conversation with God? What was it like?

2. Do you have a favorite Psalm that helps you in difficult times?

No comments:

Post a Comment