Lord, you listen to the desires of those who suffer. You steady their hearts; you listen closely to them, 18 to establish justice for the orphan and the oppressed, so that people of the land will never again be terrified. Psalm 10:17-18 CEB
Do you ever feel weak? During a recent snowstorm, I knew my son in Nashville was also in the midst of a cold, snowy day living in a house with very little heat. I knew he was working in a job that would mean he would be the last to leave the business that day and he would travel snow clogged roads through city streets in a town that doesn’t get much snow. Which means, of course, no one has a clue what to do with the white stuff. I know my boy, and didn’t imagine that he had a sturdy pair of boots or even two gloves. Who might help him if he got stranded? How might he survive a night if the power failed and his trusty electric blanket and space heater could no longer keep him marginally warm? I obsessed over his plight; I couldn’t sleep; I imagined horrible outcomes.
He worked his shift and then went to the movies.
I am neither oppressed or orphaned and grateful to be able to make that claim. But I do understand terror, although most of it is self-inflicted. I do know what it means to feel weak and powerless. When I feel like my suffering is self-inflicted, I am tempted to discount the truth that God listens to those who suffer. But this Psalm reminds me that God doesn’t categorize and judge our suffering like we humans tend to do.
Today, if you are suffering, even if you also know that you are not oppressed and marginalized, remember that God listens to those who suffer – even mothers who have an attack of codependency!