Because the Psalms are so personal, they often do not represent the mood or the situation we are in when we read them. For example, a couple mornings ago I read Psalm 142. It says,
There is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul. (v. 4)
I am brought very low! (v. 6)
I do not share this lament at this time. There are many who care for my soul. And I am not presently very low. I have known times more like this. But it is not true of me now.
So what should we do when we read psalms that do not represent our present experience?
- Realize that somewhere in the world there are Christians who right now are in this situation. Pray with them and for them.
- Realize that you will be in this situation sooner or later, and build this pattern of prayer into your life as preparation.
- Get to know God by the way the godly go to him and what they say to him and about him in such times.
- Give thanks for the relative peace and joy you have in this fragile season.