Psalm 13 – Lament

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Yesterday afternoon all along the main drag of our town, every tree and every pole had white and blue ribbons tied to them.  They were in recognition of the release of Otto Warmbier, the young man who was just released from prison in North Korea. He was unfortunately in a coma and apparently has been for over a year.   It is just heartbreaking (understatement).

Otto grew up here and many many people in our community knew him and his family.  It has been a long year+ since he was taken captive and many in our community have continued to pray for his release.  This isn’t a post about how all of the prayers that have been lifted up were finally answered and he was released.  it is instead a lament.  A lament that comes out of Psalm 13.  As I read the words of Psalm 13, I can imagine Otto and his family saying words, praying words, like these…

How long, Lord, will you continue to ignore me?
How long will you pay no attention to me?
How long must I worry,
and suffer in broad daylight?
How long will my enemy gloat over me?
Look at me! Answer me, O Lord my God!
Revive me, or else I will die!
Then my enemy will say, “I have defeated him!”
Then my foes will rejoice because I am upended.

After these words come an ascription of praise and hope and trust – words that I don’t know that people are ready to move into.  Too often, we think that we have to move out of the lament and the grief and into “feeling better” but there are times that we need to just be with the struggle and the hurt.  So, those words are posted far down below – go to them only as ready.  But its ok to stay in the place of lamenting.

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But I trust in your faithfulness.
May I rejoice because of your deliverance!
I will sing praises to the Lord
when he vindicates me.

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