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De Profundis

Out of the depths I call to you, Lord! Lord, listen to my voice; let your ears be attentive to my cry for help.” (Psalm 130:1–2, CSB)

My mom used to say I was “trouble” with a capital T. It doesn’t offend me. Partly because it’s true. But also because trouble is a part of what it means to be human. As Eliphaz reminded Job: “… humans are born for trouble as surely as sparks fly upward (Job 5:7).”

You can’t take the journey of life we’re on without running into trouble and suffering. That’s one of the unique things about us…what separates us from the rest of God’s creation. Animals can be hurt…but they don’t suffer. The earth can be ravaged, but it doesn’t suffer.

Humans can suffer…it’s part of the image of God, I think. Suffering involves the soul. Jesus himself suffered: At the Garden of Gethsemane he told his disciples: “Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”” (Matthew 26:38, NIV84) Hebrews 2:9 tells us Jesus “suffered death” on the cross for us.

Suffering is pain plus…it goes down to the soul. When we suffer we’re driven to ask existential questions: Do I matter? What’s the purpose? Where is God? Is this the end? That’s how Psalm 130 begins: the bottom has fallen out of the psalmist’s life. The first words of the psalm are “De Profundis” – the Latin name for this Psalm – “from the depths.”

We all find ourselves in a dark pit of suffering from time to time. It’s par for the course. But what sets the Christian apart is that we deal with it. It is dangerous if we don’t…if we fail to acknowledge or deal with suffering, it leads to depression, cynicism, addiction, even suicide.

The psalmist is in the pit and he doesn’t want to stay. So the first thing he does is cry out to God.

We’ll talk about how to get out of that pit on Sunday. Join us online or in person…but if you’re in a pit right now, you don’t have to remain there! Cry out to God!

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