When Our Hearts Are Heavy
“Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” (Psalm 90:14, ESV)
The phone at my bedside buzzed loudly, waking me in the middle of the night. My daughter could barely speak through her sobbing; her father- in- law, Pastor Resty, had just died.
No Lord, this can’t be! Why did you let him die? His wife and children need him! So many people have been praying….
The next 24 hours were like walking in a thick fog. My heart was heavy with sorrow and longing to be with my daughter, son-in-law, and his family. The pain of losing a father at such a young age, 53, was something my husband and I struggled through many years ago at the sudden death of his father, also at age 53.
Although I never met Resty in person due to our geographical distance (they live in the Philippines), I knew of his godly character and love for his wife, his family and his church. And his strength of character and love for God and family poured out to his children- especially our son-in-law. We thank God for his life, yet still carry the heavy weight of grief for all who loved him.
Maybe you also experienced loss and grieving over the past year, and are struggling to hold on to hope and peace in the middle of it all. With illnesses, disasters, wars, and conflicts bombarding our world, we need hope and peace now more than ever.
How do we cope with a heavy heart?
When I feel overwhelmed and need to draw near to God, I often turn to the Psalms.
As I read Psalm 90, a prayer of Moses and a community lament, it resonated with me. I especially love how it expresses the cries of a group of people, using the pronouns our, we, and us.
Sometimes I want to hide and avoid people when I am grieving or depressed. But we need each other, to carry one another’s burdens to Jesus. Our Lord can and will strengthen and sustain us.
What if we followed the pattern of Moses’ group prayer in Psalm 90?
The Moody Bible Commentary (2014) outlines three components of Psalm 90:
Affirming the Eternality of God (vs.1-2)
Acknowledging Man’s Mortality and Need for Wisdom (vs.3-12)
Asking for God’s Favor and Blessing (vs.13-17)
As I worked through putting this Psalm into a prayer, I felt my grief lift, even a little, and I hope it will encourage you in the same way.
Psalm 90 –Our Prayer
“Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” (vs.1-2)
Lord, we desire to worship you no matter what we feel or suffer through. You are the Everlasting God who created us and knows us!
You know our lives on earth are sometimes filled with pain, toil, and suffering. And our hearts are bent toward sin and evil. Your wrath toward our sin is just.
We confess our sins to You and repent. Thank you for Jesus who came and died for us!
You are Merciful and Gracious, and are faithful to forgive those who put their Hope in You.
“So teach us to number our days
that we get a heart of wisdom.
Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” (vs. 12-14)
Yes, Father, we thank and praise You for the 53 years you gave Resty, and we rejoice that he is in now with You. We long for You! We trust You to be merciful and gracious to those of us grieving with heavy hearts. You see us and love us. Help us to live our days with intention, as Resty did as your faithful servant, numbering our days with wisdom. Each day is a gift from You!
Help us to be fully content and satisfied -in all circumstances -because your steadfast love surrounds us and fills us. May we live out the days You give us in gladness!
“Psalms”. In The Moody Bible Commentary,edited by Michael Rydelnik and Michael Vanlaningham, 833-834. Chicago. Moody Publishers, 2014.