Devotional for Monday, August 20, 2012
Twilight: On the Verge of Death
by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
These meditations are on the psalms. All those songs about Zion, the temple, and the Son of David really make sense when they are sung in the New Testament church.
My soul is full of trouble and my life draws near the grave.... The darkness is my closest friend (Ps. 88:3, 18).
My father had a strong faith and a good sense of humor. When he was eighty-five he was still quite vigorous. Every day he rode his bicycle - not because he wanted exercise but because bicycling was his means of transportation. And he always prayed that he might die "in the harness." He wanted to be taken directly from his work to the Lord's presence. Most aging people wish to die that way.
God did not give my father what he asked. He grew weak and experienced pain. He became dependent on others for the most basic of human needs. That was hard on him.
One day one of his children came to his bedside and said, "Shall I read to you from the Bible?" He said, "Yes, read Psalm 88." We were shocked that our dad would take the words of this psalm and make them his own. For he had never allowed us to hint at any unkindness in God. We weren't even allowed to complain about the weather. And now this:
My soul is full of trouble and my life draws near the grave.
Sons and daughters of God are allowed to complain to God, shout at God, cry at his footstool, express deep disappointment. God teaches us that in the psalms. He also promises that in our darkness we'll find the ultimate Friend, who will dry our tears.