I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:1-3
It’s nine days until Christmas. Many are scurrying about trying to get the preparations finished, and some are just starting. It is a joyous festive time of year. Or it is supposed to be.
Yesterday a sizable group from the church went caroling. Unfortunately, due to a family situation, I was unable to attend, which is sad because I love to go caroling. I was also involved in one of those “church conversations” that tend to leave pastors pretty flat after a really energetic worship service. When I left the building, I was hardly in the Christmas spirit.
This time of year can be painful for many people. For some, it is the first Christmas without a loved one. For others it is a reminder of all we have lost over the years. Many feel the financial burden of being underpaid, or seeking new employment only to be rejected. Often health issues flare up in the season. People with food limitations cannot fully participate in the bounty of Christmas foods. People with mobility issues cannot walk the live nativity, or the Christmas light displays and the list goes on.
Many may be in that “desolate pit” the Psalmist speaks of.
But the Psalmist never remains there. Even the Psalms of lament are filled with good news. Listen to what he says in verse 5: “You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you. Were I to proclaim and tell of them, they would be more than can be counted.”
The good news of Christmas is this. God is with us. In our pain, in our grief, in our sickness, in our lament, in all of our condition, God is with us. If you are in the desolate pit this morning, take some time to meditate upon Psalm 40, seek out a song of praise, and allow God to heal you.