Oh, the desperation in these first two verses! The psalmist seems to be shouting above the noise of the churning waters of chaos in order to be heard. The depths are places none of us signs up for when we embark on this journey of faith. None of us hopes or plans for those times when all hell breaks loose and the road plunges sharply downward without warning. None of us likes to think of ourselves in the pit of life, that place of darkness and anxiety where we struggle with situations that cover our lives with storm clouds that seem as though they could burst any minute, and then they do! I imagine it is someplace dark and desolate that the psalmist calls the “depths.” Is that where Jonah was in the belly of the fish? Is that the place St. John of the Cross “called the dark night of the soul”?

I remember a time I was there. The physical space was my bathroom floor, where I lay in a sobbing heap, in emotional and financial chaos. The bathroom floor was my throne of grace and mercy at which I pleaded, God, where are you?

The state of desperation is not a tourist attraction, especially for anyone socialized to believe in the merits of self-sufficiency and independence. Yet this distressed mindset of the psalmist plays out against the backdrop of an ever-present God who remains the psalmist’s present help in times of trouble. Oh, for such eyes of faith to see the ever-present God. Oh, for senses tuned to the realm of the spirit where God’s presence is known. Oh, for grace to know that even in the depths of life’s circumstances—tragedy, sickness, grief, and pain—God is…

Let me at thy throne of mercy find a sweet relief, kneeling there in deep contrition; help my unbelief. Savior, Savior, hear my humble cry; while on others thou art calling, do not pass me by (UMH, no. 351).

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Mark 5:21-43

1 Comment
Log In to leave a comment
Lectionary Week
June 21–27, 2021
Scripture Overview

David is remembered in scripture as a mighty king but also as a great poet. Many of the Psalms are ascribed to him. In Second Samuel we find a song of lament over Saul and Jonathan. Saul was violently jealous of David, yet David still honored Saul as God’s anointed king. Jonathan was David’s best friend. David bemoans Israel’s loss of these leaders. The author of Psalm 130, although probably not David, appeals to God in David-like fashion. The Gospel shows the power of a woman’s faith. In Second Corinthians, Paul deals with practical matters, appealing to the Corinthians to send promised financial help to the believers in Jerusalem.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27. What part does music play in your prayer life? Do you sing both songs of lament and songs of praise?
Read Psalm 130. When have you cried out to God from the depths of your despair? What was God’s response?
Read 2 Corinthians 8:7-15. How do you maintain your eagerness to practice your faith?
Read Mark 5:21-43. What has been your experience of God’s healing?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.