It's clear by the end of the chapter that the author's life has been marked by suffering, and yet he never wavers from His faith in God or the power of God's Word. He says...
- My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
- My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.
- It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn your decrees.
- May your unfailing love be my comfort.
- Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight.
- My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word.
- Save me! For I am yours.
- You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your Word.
- Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.
- May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.
Many of my close friends are walking through dark valleys right now. Divorce. Moms raising fatherless children. Relational strife. Financial hardship. Disease. Each story is tragic and heartbreaking. The suffering I faced in my race pales in comparison. But I love how the marathon is a fairly accurate picture of life. There are euphoric times and heart-breaking times. Times when life flies by and times when it takes concentrated effort just to put one foot in front of the other.
I was in one of those Put One Foot in Front of the Other phases at mile 24 on race day when a song called 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) came on my iPod. Sung by Matt Redmond, the version I have was recorded live at the Passion Conference this year. It's a new song to me and I had never really listened to the lyrics of the verses. The lyrics challenged me and gave me strength to keep moving forward. My soul sang, even if my lips were silent.
The sun comes up. It's a new day dawning.
It's time to sing your song again.
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes.
Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul.
Worship His holy name.
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name.
I don't know what adversity you're facing or the depth of suffering that marks your life. But I do know that there is hope, peace, strength, guidance and comfort in God and in His word. I hope you find it there. And I pray that whatever may pass and whatever lies before us, we'll still be singing when the evening comes.