But I, O LORD, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you. O LORD, why do you cast my soul away? Why do you hide your face from me? Afflicted and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am helpless. Your wrath has swept over me; your dreadful assaults destroy me. They surround me like a flood all day long; they close in on me together. You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me; my companions have become darkness (Psalms 88:13-18, ESV)
The psalmist clearly is discouraged with the sentiments expressed. It is not unlike how we feel on occasion ourselves. Not knowing the historical context of these words, we might wonder if there was an actual experience in the life of the writer that warranted the Lord’s response along this line, or whether it was just a feeling of discouragement that generated a stronger feeling than actually was the case.
Whichever way it was, the key to this would not be the last six verses, but the appeal to the Lord, even out of perplexity, when discouragement was rampant. To who could the psalmist otherwise turn? Could he have turned to his parents? He could have, but their ability to comfort was for only a little while. Could he have turned to his wife? Assuming he was married, he could have, but that, too, would only last for a little while.
Could he have turned inward and stayed miserable in his anguish? This he did, in part, as you easily read from the Psalm. He knew, however, that was not helpful. No, he turned to the Lord because the Lord is the only answer a person has in life that is greater than life.
When life hits us with a one-two punch there is only one to whom we can turn that will actually pull us through in such dark moments of life. Whatever family can do (will do) will be less than that which the Lord has already done. RT