Hope for Chronic Suffering
If I were asked to put my finger on Scripture’s most poignant passage about chronic suffering, near the very top of my list would be Psalm 88.
The psalms have been called “the prayer book of the Bible.” And, indeed, the better we know them, the more we see how they help us talk with God in every circumstance and mood. Psalm 88 is a plea for God to stop hiding his face from the suffering psalmist. It opens with the psalmist crying out continuously to the God of his salvation (verses 1–2) and it ends the same way (verses 13–14).
As with most of what are now known as the psalms of lament, the psalmist doesn’t say exactly what his trouble is, although he does say that he has been afflicted and close to death from his youth and that his affliction has been so deep that he…