LENT — Outer Darkness

1 I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me.
2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted.
3 When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah
4 You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5 I consider the days of old, the years long ago.
6 I said, “Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart.” Then my spirit made a diligent search:
7 “Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable?
8 Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah (Psalm 77:1-9 ESV)

Where is God?

In this forsaken place, this desolate place, this place of despair and darkness, of fear and isolation, it seems like God is not here.

God is not here.

But God is also too much — too much to remember, too much to consider, too much to contemplate. The mere though of God overwhelms.

But God … is not here.

And suddenly I wonder — will God ever be here? Is God done with me? Has God walked away from me? I cry out, and I hope to be heard. I seek comfort and there is none.

I have been abandoned. Cast out. It is cold here, I am alone here, in outer darkness, where I wail and am not heard, where I meditate and collapse. Where I exchange words for mere incoherent lament.

God … is not here.

Have I earned this? Probably. I have earned all that is coming. And this … this being forgotten, left unheard and unconsidered, is no doubt my doing as well.

But I have earned nothing from God. I deserve nothing from God. Not a hearing, not consideration, not redemption. I certainly do not merit grace. Because then … it would not be grace.

I will remember the past deeds of the Lord, who spoke to me in fire and terror, who made himself known to me in a gentle snowfall, who has made ways in the wilderness and who has come to me in the past in moments of worship. The deeds of the past are the promise of the future.

God is here … somehow.

God is silent. But God is here.

God has delivered. And so … I shall trust. He is not done with me. I have earned outer darkness. I am a wretched man but God has done wonderful things to me and through me and with me.

God is silent now.

But he has not always been silent.

And he will not always be silent.


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