Little words (3)

Today’s little word from those circled in my bible comes from Ps 102, verse 12: “but”.  The previous verses are a litany of personal suffering.  As Derek Kidner describes it: “The cry of one whose sufferings are unexplained.”  When one’s suffering is unexplained, it makes the suffering even more intense.  The psalmist pours forth his woe: “My heart is smitten like grass, and withered; I forget to eat my bread.  Because of my loud groaning, my bones cleave to my flesh. . . I lie awake, I am like a lonely bird on the housetop . . .  for you have taken me up and thrown me away.”  These are dire cries from a forsaken soul. 
       Yet, out of this heartfelt suffering rises the little word, “but”–and that word makes all the difference: “BUT you, O Lord, are enthroned forever; your name endures to all generations.  You will arise and have pity on Zion.”  Etc.  An incredible act of trust and courage.  This is indeed heroic hope.  A hope and trust placed not in one’s circumstances but in Someone who can be trusted because of Who He is and Whose word never fails. 
       May this little word encourage each of us.  May we pray for the grace to use it in the midst of our own litanies, that we, too, may say: “BUT you, O Lord, are the lover of my soul.  Your steadfast love endures forever.  Your mercies are new every morning.  Great is your faithfulness.”

One thought on “Little words (3)

  1. “The cry of one whose sufferings are unexplained.” When one’s suffering is unexplained, it makes the suffering even more intense.

    I just spent the last two days taking a CISM ( Critical Incident Stress Management) class on Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Postvention. Although it was intense and I learned a lot the most treasured words were these that I shared with my partner in role playing. No one should walk through this alone. May I walk along side you and carry Hope for you until you can reach out and take it for yourself?
    It was a profound moment for me.
    Kathleen

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