Friday, March 11, 2022

A Psalm for the Suffering


Namer of stars—

You have seen our affliction;

You know the troubles of our souls.

The private pain,

The secret longings,

The deepest shame—

You know them all.

You winnow the thoughts

And motivations of every heart, even those we do not know ourselves.

To you “all hearts are open,

All desires known,

And from You no secrets are hidden.”

Search me, O Lord, and know my heart.

Try me, and know my anxious thoughts.

See where there be any wicked way in me,

Where any earthly thing has wrongly

Ascended the throne of my heart;

Where I have gazed upon the cross,

Shrunk back in fear,

And said, “Not Thy will, but mine be done.”


Keeper of sparrows—

Not a one of these commonest of birds

Falls to the ground

But that You know it.

Not one feather can be plucked from a wing,

But You know its number.

How much more impossible that

No one can snatch Your child

Out of Your hand, O Father,

Or separate Your people from Your love.

The hurricanes of catastrophe,

The most private thorns stabbing our sides—

No calamity of squeeze of affliction can touch us

But that it passes first through You.

You are near to the brokenhearted.

You bandage battered souls.

The afflictions that fall on us

Fall on You.

You walk through fire and flood,

Death’s shadowed valley,

With those who know Your name.

Wounded Savior, ever interceding,

Keep Your people;

Guard Your children.

Permit no weapon formed against us to prosper.

Send out the hosts of heaven to our defense.

When the day dawns and shadows flee,

When Your keeping keeps us all the way

Into Your painless, strifeless, tear-daubed presence,

Take us Home singing praise to You.


Tamer of Leviathan

You can do all things,

And no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

You who do great things

Have done great things for me.

Holy is Your name.

Your dominion only is everlasting.

Your kingdom only is eternal.

You remove kings and establish kings.

Your ways are inscrutable.

The peoples plot and scheme;

The One enthroned in heaven laughs.

Without dismay,

Without surprise,

Without the wringing of hands,

He speaks to our proud hearts:

            “I have installed My King.

            Pay homage to the Son.

            All who take refuge in Him are happy.”

You alone do what You want, all You want,

With the armies of heaven.

There is no one who can block Your hand

Or say to You, “What have You done?”

You are King of kings

And Lord of lords,

And You are coming soon.

Make no tarrying, O my Lord;

Come quickly to save us.

For You, our King,

Are also our Father.



Namer of stars—

You know.

Keeper of sparrows—

You love.

Tamer of Leviathan—

You reign.

Hallowed be Your name in all the earth.

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