They say the Word of God is a living, breathing thing that both stays the same and often changes for each reader in that they can always find something “new” they never noticed before. I knew this was true, but it was proven to me recently once again.
I’ve read the Book of Psalms more times than I can count, but I didn’t even remember this entire chapter of it until I recently saw it in a new light.
Written by Asaph as a song for Jeduthun, the chief musician during David’s reign, the words of the seventy-seventh psalm strike such a powerful chord (no pun intended) in my heart. The first part of the psalm paints a vivid picture of this man’s pain and sorrow, his heart laid bare for the reader or listener.
1 … I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.
2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.
3 I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.
4 Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5 I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.
6 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.
7 Will the Lord cast off for ever? And will He be favourable no more?
8 Is His mercy clean gone for ever? Doth His promise fail for evermore?
9 Hath God forgotten to be gracious? Hath He in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.
10a And I said, This is my infirmity…
These gut-wrenching words resonate with me on a personal level because I’ve lived them.
So many times I have cried out to God in the midst of my trouble, yet my soul refused to be comforted. I have complained over my misfortune and felt overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the storm surrounding me. I have tossed and turned at night, crying myself to sleep because I long to receive an answer to my prayers.
And yet sometimes, no matter how much we cry out to Him, God is silent. Sometimes we don’t get an answer--at least, not on the timeframe we are wanting.
So what do we do then?
When it feels as though God’s mercy has ended and His promises seem to have failed, how can we find the strength to move forward?
Well, we do as Asaph did in the rest of this psalm.
10b But I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.
11 I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.
12 I will meditate also of all thy works, and talk of thy doings.
13 Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?
14 Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.
15 Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.
16 The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled.
17 The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad.
18 The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.
19 Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.
20 Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Though we may feel forgotten, we must dig our fingers deep into the truth that there is no God like our God. We can recall the days of old, the wonders He has worked in the past and remember that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We may be overwhelmed by the storm raging around us, like Peter walking on water only to sink below the waves. But, like Peter, our God is there with us in the storm. And He is not afraid of it. In fact, it’s the other way around.
The waters see Him and are afraid. The depths are troubled in His presence. The world shakes beneath His feet.
We can lift up a song of praise in the night because we know Who is with us in both light and darkness.
This “Song in the Night”, as my Bible labels it, brings to my mind a song of my own. I wrote it months before this passage of scripture came to my attention, but remarkably, the two have a very similar theme. Here’s the first verse and chorus:
Here I find myself
Sitting on the valley floor
No light can I see
Are You even listening?
Then I remind my soul
of all that You’ve done
You didn’t fail me then, why would You now?
And with outstretched arms,
I lift my voice and say…
From the depths I’ll
Sing Your praises
From the dust
I’ll shout out Your Name, O God
You’re still good to me
In the valley
I will worship
In the pain
I’ll shout out Your Name, O God
You’re still good to me
You’re still good
I had never really put my mind toward songwriting before penning this song, but on a burst of inspiration, the first few lines of the chorus came to me while making my bed one day. I quickly jotted them down on my phone to remember later. But these lyrics would not leave my mind, and within two or three days, I’d written the full song. The words flowed from a deep, personal area of my heart, springing from a place of questioning and pain. My own song in the night.
In the year since writing it, I’ve sung this song to myself so many times, reminding my soul over and over of the Lord’s goodness. Even when I can’t see the light and feel like God has forgotten me, I can rest in the truth that He is there and He will never go back on His promises. I can choose to worship in the midst of the storm. I can sing out my song in the night until the morning comes at last.
Are you finding yourself on the valley floor today, friend? Wondering if God’s goodness is gone forever? Well, take heart. Search yourself and find a song for you to sing, and sing it out with all your might until your heart and spirit believe it and you remember that He is still good to you. He’s still the master of every storm. The waters still tremble before him and cease their raging at the sound of His voice. And He’s still a God of wonders!