Psalms for Prayer: Day 3

A Prayer for When God Seems Silent

by

Today's Text: Psalm 77:1-20

Scripture Reading: Psalm 77:1-20

I got the call on a Tuesday. The son we were going to graft into our family through adoption was now staying with his biological family, to be raised by his grandmother. I had already packed a bag for the hospital. We were less than a week away from his due date, and now, there was no due date in sight.

It’s hard to describe the pain of that moment. Four years of infertility. Months of adoption preparation. All the finances invested in growing our family disappeared in an instant, but that paled in comparison to watching our future go up in smoke. The little boy I’d pictured standing between my husband and me, with this dark skin and curled hair, was gone. The thoughts kept pounding at the place between my eyes: I’ll never know what he looks like. I’ll never even know his name.

I’ll be honest: in the moments after that call, I didn’t open up the psalms. Instead, I walked upstairs to the little nursery we’d yet to complete and grabbed the handmade quilt my mother’s best friend had made for the boy. It was meant to warm him as he slept, but now I buried my face in it and wept. I screamed. No one was home but me, and so I let myself go—until my throat quivered and the cries sounded eerily like that of a child wailing for its mother.

The Message translation of Psalm 77 says, “I yell out to my God, I yell with all my might, I yell at the top of my lungs… my life was an open wound that wouldn’t heal” (vv. 1-2). I know what that feels like. I’d guess many of us do. But how often do we give ourselves permission to yell and cry out like this? How often do we express our sorrow and the fullness of our pain? Not often.

In an effort to bypass our grief—in fear that God’s silence will be too much to bear—I believe many of us never ask the questions the psalmist so brutally lays down: Where are you, God? Have you forgotten me completely? I thought you were supposed to be compassionate. But this doesn’t feel like compassion.

Instead, we try to end the pain as quickly as possible, either through secular comfort (read: retail therapy) or spiritual practices (read: small groups, counseling, meditation, and yes, sometimes even Bible reading). But Psalm 77 shows us that we can bring our raw emotion to God. We can ask our honest questions without fear. We can scream at the top of our lungs, and God will still listen.

But the psalmist does not stop with his questions. He asks them, and then he gets up off the floor. It is essential that we bring our honest selves to God, in all our brokenness. But it is just as essential that we are honest about who God is to us. In a place of pain, truth is a hard pill to swallow. But it is the medicine we need most. We need to remember that all His ways are good, even in the midst of our sorrow and pain. The Message translation of the psalm goes on to say:

Once again I’ll go over what God has done, lay out on the table the ancient wonders;
I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished, and give a long, loving look at your acts (vv. 11-12).

I have a history full of examples to pick from to remember God’s character. After all, the psalmist didn’t know Moses and Aaron—he wasn’t present when God parted the Red Sea—but he praised God for it anyway. Jesus hasn’t ended my sickness, but the stories of when He walked on earth prove that He is our Healer. The ancient wonders remind me of the truth: my current circumstances do not outweigh God’s eternal promises.

This is the rhythm of faith. Yell out, and then remember.

SRT-PsalmsForPrayer-Shareimage-Day3

Claire Gibson is a writer whose work has been featured in publications including The Washington Post and Entrepreneur Magazine among many others. An Army kid who grew up at West Point, New York, Claire is currently growing roots in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, Patrick, their son, Sam, and their dog, Winnie. Her debut novel, Beyond the Point, will be published next year.

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  • Caitlin Zdenek

    Recently I very much felt like God was opening up a new opportunity in my life for the better. I waited so patiently but the door was slammed shut in my face suddenly today. I know I’m supposed to feel like there’s something better and grander in His plan but it’s so hard to see that right now. I’m just so angry, hurt, and abandoned. Thank you for this story. I feel guilty for being angry and hurt. Thank you for the reassurance that it’s okay for me to express the pain.

  • This is EXACTLY what I needed to read and pray over myself today!! Thank you Claire for putting this in words!

  • Hanna Shelby

    Coming out of a recent (and my first) miscarriage, this really spoke to me because regardless of how much I think I “know” how faithful and compassionate He is, I still forget and need to be reminded of this. The Lord has been so good to us in this season but in the lulls of normal day-to-day things; the grief, hurt, emotion, and anger in all of this likes to peek through. I like to think that I’m past the pain of my miscarriage, but in reading verses 1-6; I can safely say I’m not finished crying aloud to Him. So thankful for this reminder of faithfulness and needing to depend on Him.

  • Elonna Mack

    “My current circumstances do not outweigh Gods eternal promises”

  • Man I cannot tell you how many times I have gone through seasons where this was so relevant. I love that God is open to us just being broken as we are but as stated above it is so important to remember God for who he actually is not just what you feel he is in that moment. Sometimes our pain can cloud our vision.

  • Rachael Hernandez

    “My current circumstances do not outweigh God’s eternal promises.” And isn’t this exactly why we are admonished to “be careful for nothing:, but by prayer…” and to renew our mind and take captive every thought? When we take our eyes off of Christ, we can grovel in our circumstances, but when we lift them up, and focus on Him, our vision clears up.

  • Day 3 of this plan really resonated with me. I have been struggling with feeling God’s presence and direction for my life, and I’ve felt like he hasn’t heard my prayers. But His ways are SO much better than mine, and I’m so thankful for that! Day 3 helped me so much!

    • Tasha Enderby

      Ashley you are so not alone in this season my sister. Thank you for honesty I find it hard to remove the mask of life in the world around me but it’s good to know that I am not alone in my season of loneliness and doubt.

  • Ariana Gray

    There have been a lot of times that I’ve felt God wasn’t moving my life, but as I reflect, I can truly say God is good and God is faithful! Situations I didn’t understand why they were happening and it was for my protection. Situations that I was only able to endure because of His righteousness. He has shielded me in so many ways that I can even begin to thank Him enough. It’s not that He’s been silent or not moving, it’s that He’s been waiting for me to acknowledge Him and His works. Thank you, Father!

  • Through so many of my life’s obstacles, I try to remember everything is for my good and God’s glory. Sometimes when things don’t go my way, I wonder if God has abandoned ME. I may not yell at the top of my lungs, but I pout, I tell God Almighty that I am not speaking with Him…just like a child. Then I think about who He is: a loving father, Abba, faithful, forgiving, omniscient , omnipotent, sovereign, promise keeper. In God’s time, because His ways are perfect.

  • Tabitha ReneeKelly

    My current situation is so minor to God’s blessings for me and I am not going to worry about them any longer

  • Christina RobertsHargrove

    Claire, your story really touched me. My husband and I are struggling with infertility and have talked about adoption once or twice. We’re both terrified of the possibility that we would open up our family to a child who would never come home. Fear has a been paralyzing to us. Thank you for reminding me that we can express that fear to God and lean on His past faithfulness, and that He will be there and be good no matter what the outcome. Going to be praying this Pslam for awhile until I hear His direction!

    • Sarah Sipes

      Christina, I’ve been where you are. Adoption was the best decision we ever made. It wasn’t easy or without pain but in the end it is amazing. I think it’s important to start working through your feeling about infertility because adoption comes with its own baggage. I went to Christian counseling. I also feel that it’s important to work with a Christian adoption agency so that you and the birth family receive Christian guidance and the process is prayed over and cared for by believers. We use Abba adoption in Arkansas (we live in Virginia) because they are strong believers and such caring women. The difficult process has lead us down the adoption road twice and we are forever thankful for our babies!!!

  • Amy-Beth Rice

    Verse 19 was illuminated to me…how God’s path lead THROUGH the roaring sea. He could have chosen to carry them up through a cloud, or any number of means, but he sent them straight through the depths of the sea to get them to their promise. It’s amazing how what can look like the hardest outcome to is actually the straightest path to our promise…And it says his footprints were not seen, just like we may not perceive God in the way we may think we ought in our darkest hours. Wow.

  • Kathy Valentine

    My current circumstances do not outweigh God’s eternal promises. Amen to that!

  • Julienne Dolera

    I love this. And that final statement ❤️
    There was one night I was in bed staring up at the ceiling and it suddenly occurred to me, how I have stopped praying. I remember it used to be that I was never able to fall asleep until I have prayed. So in that moment I asked myself, when did I stop praying? I have forgotten for long time. Now I remember.

  • Stephanie Miller

    I ❤️ the final statement. My circumstances do not outweigh God’s eternal goodness. I have to trust that it’s all part of a grander plan and I am having my story written this way for some reason unbeknownst to me.

  • Jami Pinch

    This made me think of my niece who lost her child last year and how far her and her husband has come in there faith. We should all walk by faith not sight.

  • Ana Lisa Johnson

    This testimony really resonates with me, as do the words of this psalm. I’ve been through things in my life where it felt like God had abandoned me, and a friend is walking through something similar right now. God, thank you that you do not abandon us in pain, but you meet us there as we bring it to you. You are mighty, even when I am weak.

  • This resonates so much with me as someone who knows I will never have biological children. While I hope to someday build a family through adoption I know that may not be possible as there may not be a man interested in marrying me due to my inability to have children. It is good to know that I can still cry out to God when the sadness feels overwhelming.

    • Laura Ladymon

      If a man is not interested in marrying you because you cannot have biological children, you may want to reconsider marrying him. Your worth more than your fertility status.

  • Thank you for being so transparent with your story Claire. This was a very powerful psalm and your personal story provided an excellent example of God’s provision when we cry out to Him. When we are crushed in spirit, we can cry out and yell, and then remember all the beautiful ways God has and will provide for us

  • Amy MacKenzie

    I needed this. Thank you ❤️

  • Rowena Salter

    It’s a reminder that God is our ultimate parent. He doesn’t only want to see us in the good times, he wants to see us no matter what happens in our lives! I need to let my guard down more to let him in!

  • Peony Noirr

    As someone who struggles with infertility, your testimony resonates with me. Find comfort in Christ.

  • Rebecca Leek

    Junia Isiminger, your testimony made me cry, happy tears. What a beautiful testimony. Thank you for sharing!

  • Abbey Byrd

    I forget to pour out my heart to God (even though he sees and knows even better than I do). I think when God seems silent it’s because we’ve placed a wall. We aren’t being vulnerable. The enemy would have us believe God is silent and distant, but Gods word tells us that he’s beside us, and before us, and he pursues us. He is a good shepherd and he’s promised never to leave us.

  • Monica Davis

    I love the idea of faith being a great rhythm.

  • Jess Rivera

    This is so powerful. This is exactly what I needed to hear it my time of struggles. My husband lost his job unexpectedly and we have two children and a home to take care of, I feel like we’ve been struggling for so long financially. But this is an encouragement that God is sovereign and he will never leave us, and it’s okay to feel pain but at he end of he day I need to remember his goodness and faithfulness and the mighty works he’s done. Hallelujah❤️❤️❤️

  • Caralee Lilly

    I love that although our God is majestic and powerful that He is tender enough to understand our anger, our hurt, our questions and that openly sharing those things only causes Him to draw us closer.

  • It’s true that God is ever faithful! I can look back and see His provision and love, usually in ways that I didn’t expect.

  • Kimber Hatton

    ❤️❤️ suicide hurts my heart and it’s so hard to make sense of in my brain. My cousin shot himself. But praise God for the Holy Spirit – one day I stopped asking why and even better had no desire to ask why . I received peace and my only desire was to trust God. You’re so right …God knows.

  • Kimber Hatton

    Wow!

  • Kimber Hatton

    “Give yourself permission” So good. It’s hard to say out loud that you’re hurt or not okay. esp when you’re in church leadership but those shadows and lies that we keep in our closests only bring darkness. The enemy directs darkness but God is light. Bringing everything into the light at the altar is true healing and strength.

  • Claire-I am so sorry for the pain you have had and still may have, I too have had deep heart ache recently and have had to cling to what I know as truth-God is faithful, God is good and He has a purpose. I recently spoke on growing in His grace and He showed me that it is by His grace that we are able to hold on and become more of the person He is leading us to be. I pray for you to have a peace that surpasses all understanding.

  • Kaylan M. Boyer

    I lost my best friend my senior year of high school (2 years ago) & I can remember screaming and crying to God saying, “Why God? I thought You loved me? I thought you had plans to prosper me & not harm me? Why, if all of those things were true, would you take my best friend?” It took me a long time to get to the point where I realized that I went through that loss to grow me. I stumbled in my faith at first, but then I realized that God was who I had to lean on. At my church, we often meet grief with the phrase, “Consider it joy” from James 1:2. This Psalm was exactly what I needed at this exact time.

  • Kelly Anne

    Amen!

  • Erica Askren

    My current circumstances do not outweigh God’s eternal promises. I’m in a season of uncertainty in my life. My husband and I are each on the opposite side of an issue that is pivotal in our relationship. We love each other deeply but this could be the thing that is our undoing. These psalms are just what my spirit needs right now.

  • Junia Isiminger

    Laura – thank you for sharing your story. I too suffered the struggles of failed adoption. We suffered infertility and although I was able to finally get pregnant with a donor egg – I miscarried at 8 weeks. We then turned to adoption and after six years – a baby girl was placed in our arms to be ripped away 14 days later. I talked on the phone with the maternal grandmother and found that her daughter was at a unwed mother shelter with the baby – through talking to the grandmother and the mother – I encouraged them to heal their relationship and the mother to go back to her parents home. On thanksgiving eve a great peace came over me as I had been praying constantly for my grief and the baby to be cared for – on that Friday I called the mother to see how the thanksgiving had went and found that she had moved back with her parents and the baby – I have never talked to

    • Junia Isiminger

      The family again – a week later I received the call that a baby girl had been born on thanksgiving eve and she would be ours after rights were legally finalized – we had to wait almost 5 months before she could come home with us – but our baby – Jaydyn (meaning God has heard) Jenaya (meaning God has answered) is now 18 years old and will be graduating from high school and heading to college. We later adopted another little girl through the foster system – she was 19 days old – Jordanna (descending) Miracle (divine act) dropped into our lives she is 12. God has a plan – always and trust me I yelled at him a lot during my struggle to build my family – but I always had faith he would deliver – I can’t imagine my life without these two incredible strong young women.

      • Melanie Thompson

        Such a touching testimony! Thank you for sharing Junia!

      • Hanna Hernandez

        Thank you for sharing your beautiful story! Your vulnerability and strength is so inspiring. It’s also a great reminder that God is always listening and has a much greater plan for us—even when it feels like we’ve been forgotten.

      • Amy MacKenzie

        Incredible testimony. Thank you so much for sharing your story of courage in trusting God’s faithfulness ❤️

  • Naomi LaBoo

    Wow! What a testimony!

  • Bringing our honest selves to God in addition to being honest about who He truly is and what He’s done is such wisdom. We cannot let our circumstances overshadow the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls.

  • Ah, this one got me.

  • Chelsea Smith

    Ah. I feel this. I am going through infertility treatment and just had a miscarriage. It is easy to think that you are alone and that it isn’t fair. This is a great reminder.

    • Bunny Perry

      Sorry to hear this Chelsea. May you feel God’s healing hands on your heart. I also miscarriaged and remember the hollow feeling. Your baby is in heaven waiting with your family. I will add you to my prayer list. Trust in his timing. I know it is easier said than done, but he is with you. Love and prayers.

  • Brittany Holmes

    Wow! This day’s devotional is quite raw. Be prepared. I keep track of the names for God in my Bible and try to read into why an author uses one over another in each context. Today, Asaph uses Elohim in most of tHe verses. Elohim (God) means “Strong One;” it’s the name God first uses in creation. It’s a really common name, and even the heathen nations recognize it. Asaph also uses Adonai (Lord) in a few verses, meaning, well, lord, ruler, master.
    Asaph cries out and even seems to doubt God’s character. He asks is God forgot to be gracious. Like, is that even possible? No way! Sometimes it FEELS like it, though.
    In verse 11, when he checks his feelings against his FAITH, Asaph switches the name for God to Jehovah (LORD) for that one verse. Jehovah is God’s relational name. He started using it after He created Adam. The heathen nations don’t use it, and it only seems to be used by people who have an intimate relationship with The I Am (what the name literally means).
    So (v19) the ways of God are mysterious, and I rarely understand what’s going on, especially when I’m in pain. But I have a relationship with the LORD that helps me find comfort in the mess.

  • Amy Alexandra

    I often find it hard to be honest with God about my pain, as though admitting I’m angry and hurting and confused is somehow a lack of spirituality. Shouldn’t I already know that His ways are good? Shouldn’t I automatically understand that He has a reason for everything He does, and that His plans surpass anything I could even imagine? The thing is, knowing something to be true doesn’t make me feel it. I know He is good, but I still feel hurt. I know He is righteous, but I still feel confused. I know He is faithful, but I still feel abandoned. Prayer is saying to God, “This is what I feel, but I am still choosing You.” When I try to talk myself out of what I feel, I am trying to overcome my pain with my own strength. When I take the pain to God, I am letting Him heal me; I am bringing “every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

  • Annette Enkhorn

    Today’s Psalm Prayer Devotion has me very grateful that God has never left my side; even when I chose a path not led by Him. He is faithfully leading me now, and always has, to the path He has always had for me. I seek to choose His Will over my own and to follow Him into Eternity with as many other saved by Jesus souls a possible

    • Meg

      Have been reading SRT for a number of years but psalm 77 and our guest comments and those of others who have gone through so much pain and fear in their journey to have a child. When I was going through infertility I did believe in God but that was it. I sought out on my own from surgeries to adoptions to surrogacy to find a way to have my child. I wish that I had been familiar with Proverbs 3:5 and knew the Lord enough to trust him and his plan. After eight years of trying to make my own plan my son was born and then my daughter. It wasn’t until a few years after their birth that I realized it wasn’t my plan but instead it was His plan – he had my back the whole time and I just didn’t know it. Further my faith has grown because of my daughter’s faith – that was just another little God thing that I now recognize as such. My “kids” are now adults but, in reading about all of you that are struggling to have your children I went back in time as if it was yesterday and all of those feelings of desperation or recalled.The hardest part for all of us going through infertility is the not knowing if we’ll have that “happy ending”. I so get it-I so remember it. So when you’re scared that it won’t happen and you think God is silent turn to Proverbs 3:5 and “trust in the Lord with all your heart”.

  • Christine

    Hello, This got close to home with me. You see on March 11 of this year, my son called me to tell me his girlfriend was pregnant and due any day. However, she did not want the baby and was planning on giving her up for adoption. On March 14, my granddaughter was born. She was born addicted to drugs and I was heartbroken thinking about not being able to watch her grow up, who her parents would be, would they be able to care for her the way my husband and I could? It hurt to breathe. I could not eat or sleep. Finally, my son and his girlfriend signed their rights over to us. My heart goes out you and I am sure you will be holding a beautiful baby to call your own soon, but as a grandmother it was very tough to think of not ever seeing my granddaughter. May God bless you and I know He will place the perfect child in your arms.

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you so much for sharing Christine. We’re grateful that you’re here! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Khrystian Hembree

    This…this is what it looks like when God works through stories. I am in the same situation as the author. We’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for a child. I suffered from infertility, we’ve lost 2 babies, we’ve been matched with 4 others through our agency and something has happened each time. I truly feel this pain. It’s hard to sit in the wait and pray over and over and over again, “God don’t you hear me? Am I not worthy?!”
    I had just said those prays when I felt the urge to open up the app today and saw this as today’s reading. Wow, talk about divine appointment.
    Thank you so much for sharing your vulnerability and the push to pick up and see Him through it all. I needed that!

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Khyrstian, thanks for sharing. We’re so sorry to hear this and we’re praying for you – for continued encouragement and comfort. So grateful that you’re a part of our community! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • This was such a beautiful encouragement. Thank you for sharing.

  • Claire,
    Thank you for sharing your gift of writing. I am new to She Reads Truth and have started my days with these golden nuggets of wisdom and stories. Your writing is raw yet graceful and I admire your candidness and your Faith- two qualities I find valuable in others. Keep heart and thank you again for sharing. <3

    • She Reads Truth

      Welcome Liza, we’re so glad that you’re joining us! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Sherry B.

    Laura, Your story touched my heart. I too lost a baby many years ago. My loss was through stillbirth but it is still the same story. Sometimes we forget God can handle our grief and he is right there with us. Thank you for sharing.

  • Sandi Baecker

    Thank you for including Psalm 77 and this devotional in this study! In studying the interpretation, I read that “we all need to remember that all His ways are good even in the midst of our sorrow and pain”. While at times we see His footprints and understand His way, God moves in mysterious ways at times. While we don’t always comprehend (and may not be meant to now), God’s way is always entirely right.

    I am struggling, but even as I struggle with my thoughts, I pray that this is God’s way of working in me and helping lead me in the right direction.

  • I too received such a call…….. at 1:15 a.m. the night before we were to pick up our daughter and bring her home. I wanted to die. I think perhaps part of me did die. All was dark and no one could help. And I sat an wallowed in the hurt and pain , and discovered that through every minute of my wailing and ranting and anger and suffering, God sat with me, and listened and held me. People didn’t. They had words that were all wrong to offer. Abba had no words, just was present. And in those days of misery, I began to remember. Years before He had reassured me He had something planned for me that I could imagine. Slowly I grasped that promise once again and found peace and hope. We brought a daughter home four years later. A teeny child who was exactly what I had desired and never expressed out loud, but God knew my heart. I’m glad He’s bigger than my shouts. I’m so thankful that when I am weak , He is strong.

  • Gema Muniz

    How awesome is it that God wants us to come to him as our raw self. He doesn’t judge us nor restricts us while he listens to us. How many times I just want to scream out all of my frustrations, and all I want Is fo someone to hear me out. I don’t need a solution I don’t want an opinion I just want to be heard. I’m glad that I have a God that allows me to do this, he comforts me and strengthens me through his word. Through his tender and loving words that give me a peace that cannot be explained. SRT sisters, don’t ever mistake Gods silence for abandonment, seek him more during these moments and delight in what he has in store for you. He works best in moments of silence because it means he has your full attention. Have a blessed day ladies.

  • Praise God for being bigger than my doubts. He is stronger than any fear, disappointment, or question I can throw at Him in all my times of weakness.

  • My understanding is that Asaph often transcribed David’s writing. I just realized I don’t have a study bible with notes on my phone…so found Logos…. as for the authors pain, I am sad that anyone would be judged for any kind of pain, especially pain that she didnt inflict on herself. Proverbs tells us that hope deferred makes the heart sick. I spent a long time in a depression, because of my own sin… Much of the sad psalms are from when David lost a child from an adulturous relationship….

  • It makes my heart happy to read your bio and see that you have a son Sam…God eventually granted you the wishes of your heart. <3

  • Jacquie Avila

    Amen! This is something i needed to hear this morning. Thank you.

  • Claire, once again your honesty and heartfelt words have stirred up a deeper understanding of today’s text. Thank you. I was wondering, however, about the author of this Psalm.. My copy of the scripture says “Asaph” is the author? Did David write this Psalm or did this Asaph write it?

    • Jennifer

      Asaph seems to be the leader of one of David’s Levitical choirs. There are 11 Psalms attributed to him.

  • I knew no other way than to yell. Shout. Accuse. Question God..
    Why.
    Why.
    Why.
    Was my cry for a long time. I would go to the Lords house and just rant and rave… I would vent my anger… my heartbreak… my brokenness..

    But God..

    Oh But God..
    He allowed me those days of ‘yelling’.. He allowed me space to rant and rave and when He felt I could shout, accuse and ask why no more … He sat me down on a pew too tired to move.. I fell asleep… and there in that sleep He showed me my beautiful girl, running through a meadow , happier than I had seen her in a long time.., shout to me… “I am alright mum I am happy ..”
    I woke up crying sobbing, but I knew in that moment of waking up that God had gifted me with that precious moment to see my daughter fully healed and running through that meadow.

    Psalm 77 for sure is a heart cry of one in turmoil..a journey i have known too well.. But again God, when i feel moments of turmoil or sadness, or disappointment, i look to what He has done.. what He has continued to do for me…I remember … oh how I remember, and i know He is not far away… no matter the rhythm of ones heart…
    God is good … He never changes.. And He never will.. this is a Truth I believe… and hold on to… I have to… for the journey that has been mine has needed our God Almighty to get through to where i am now.
    All. All. All praise and Glory to the One who hears us in our despair and still loves and holds us close.. Amen…

    Sending love and hugs to you all my sisters…xx

  • Thank you, Claire, for sharing this piece of your life with us. This devotion touched my heart & reminded me that the Lord is in control – even in hard times. Remembering all the things God has done & recalling His promises can be difficult in moments of sadness & loss. But I’m thankful that God doesn’t leave us in the pit. He comforts us & performs mighty deeds, even when we don’t see them. He leads us like a flock of sheep to one pasture at a time.

  • AnnMarie L. Smith

    good morning
    It is so comforting that God allows us to be ourselves when it comes to expressing how we truly feel. In front of people we tend to put a smile on and appear put together. But with God we can truly express ourselves. I love the opening of Psalms 77: 1-3. I see it as a session between the greatest therapist which is God and myself the troubled one. But what puts things in perspective for me is this statement by today’s writer “my current circumstances do not outweigh God’s eternal promises”.

  • Jessica Masanotti

    This too was my story. Years of infertility, failed adoption and I was undone. Being an optimist, I tried to brush past the grief in the name of “knowing God has a plan” but in reality, I was clutching to that to avoid the suffering and grief that was necessary for my growth and to really bring me to a place of truly knowing “I am not in control”. I couldn’t puppet-master or manipulate my way out of that sadness…it was a year of yelling out to the Lord and that year brought me deeper in relationship with God, unlike I had ever been before❤️

  • Alicia Hosan

    It’s funny, verse 19 has been used in sermons at my church over the last year, but it wasn’t until reading it this morning that it hit me how the Lord is doing that with me individually. Just over a year ago, I went through a break up-the “this was the guy I was going to marry and am now devastated” kind of breakup. After being together for almost 3 years, I was certain this was the path God was leading me down, but His way is one I didn’t know was there. And still don’t know where it leads to, but will choose to trust and follow anyways.
    I loved the phrase “yell out and then remember”. So often I think I can truly express my feelings to the Lord and be angry or truthful because that’s not how I should talk to Him. But this example of crying out to Him, asking those hard questions but then always turning and remembering His faithfulness and reminding yourself of Truth. I need to do this in my life

  • Lori Olive

    Such a good lesson today. I needed the reminder that the best place to go is always one on one with my God.

  • Libby Kosciuszko

    Laura, thank you for sharing this. I think all too often we respond to grief the way we thing that ‘holy’ people are supposed to and it’s damaging. I love your honesty and your heart. Thank you again for sharing this very personal story!

  • Sorry to be so particular, but I don’t believe this is a Psalm of David. My Bible says it is of Asaph, and looking a little further into it, my Bible notes that Asaph was leader of one of David’s levitical choirs. But maybe I’m missing something?

    • SA

      LT, I was wondering about this too.

    • Joy

      I am also confused by the reference to David in the devotional and in some posts. This psalm is full of meaning regardless of who authored it but it does seem that it should be credited to the correct person. Can anyone share some clarification on this issue?

      • LT

        It looks like they’ve edited the post – instead of referencing David, it now references “the psalmist” :)

  • anne jones

    Thank you Claire for sharing your pain. Thank you for your honesty….your openness about your reaction. Just like David shares in this Psalm, the pain and loss and feelings/thoughts of where are you God. I understand and it so helps to know that I am not alone in questioning and wondering during this long lonely season. I Know God is with me even during the times that my emotions may not feel it. Thank you for this study.

  • Beth Norton

    This spoke to my heart. I’ve been married a year and a half and in that time my husband has lost 4 jobs. I’m exhausted and feel at times that God has forgotten me. Every day I am crying before Him for change or strength in the midst. Honestly, I’d really like change. Along side of the unemployment is the grief of infertility. I’m so ready to be out of this season.

  • I understand that pain. Our first baby was stillborn. It was devestating. I remember thinking that she will never to be able to go to her prom or other firsts. I imagined things I would have done with her. However, I didn’t understand that she was way better off in Heaven. I wasn’t born again then. However, after her burial I was invited to go to a new church. I wasn’t used to the praise and worship and clapping. I was angry and thought the people were crazy. I focused on one woman that seemed to have it all together. Here, she had also lost a child and had money problems too. The pastor heard about our loss and asked people to pray. That same woman told me that God said to run to Him and not away from Him! The pastor preached a message that I thought was just for me. I know that was how God works now. He lets us hear what we need! I got saved that day. I’ve learned so much about God that I don’t know! I understand that my daughter’s life and the lives of all babies that pass still have meaning and purpose. God used her death to bring me to salvation. I’ve been able to comfort people with the comfort I’ve received through the mourning. Every life matters. She has eternal life with Jesus and didn’t suffer all of the pain in this life.

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Kristin, thanks so much for sharing this and we’re so sorry for your loss. We’re praying for you and are so grateful that you’re a part of our community. -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Lorrie Bee

    Claire,
    Thank for for sharing your grief with us. Some will not understand, or will think it’s selfish that you grieved. They’d be wrong.
    Grief is real. It’s hard. And God shows us in his word that we can cry out to him. Jesus felt our grief more acutely than any of us can imagine, in that moment on the cross when he bore our sins. His own Father could not look at him. It comforts me to know he is acquainted with our sorrows.

  • Churchmouse

    There is no hope if God is not Who He says He is. I have cried out to God in guttural sounds that did not even seem human. Grief so profound. Tears that streaked my face daily for an entire year. I was desperate for God to still be God even when I couldn’t yet see His hand in my circumstance. I yelled even when I had no words. The only comfort I had was the truth of His Word and the blessings that I could still see. They were small and even insignificant when compared to my pain. But He was there in the midst of them. I wrote each one down on simple post it note. I read His Word. I noted a blessing. The days went by and healing emerged. Great was His faithfulness. Great is His faithfulness. Always. Even when.

  • I do feel for the author’s pain of infertility. But am I the only one who feels very uncomfortable about the fact that this pain is central in this devotion and not the interest of the child who, thankfully, can stay with his own family and in his own environment?

    • Dana

      But that’s the point, her pain is her pain and not just about infertility, but the real loss of something that was to be, which as someone who has miscarried, I can imagine the heartbreak is similar. She’s grieving what could have been, grieving her dreams of a future. So she yells out and then remembers; remembers God’s character and I imagine, though I don’t know for fact, that there is an acknowledgement of what may be best for the child who at that point had not yet been born.

    • CC

      Well I mean, the author is simply just using this pain to demonstrate the power of God, how He is still in control even in the midst of personal pains. The bigger picture is always greater. I don’t feel as if she didn’t care about the child’s well being. I feel like anyone expecting a child whether it be through adoption or giving birth to your own biological child would feel pain if suddenly that child would not be coming home to you, after expecting it for months. She can only speak of her own personal pain.

    • Helen Pollard

      I understand what you are saying. And I imagine the author when she got over her initial shock will have received some comfort from knowing the child will be with his own family. But that doesn’t make her pain any less real. And it’s the same for us. Logic – and truth – can explain things away but the pain will still be there and we need to cry out to God.

    • Marianne

      I felt uncomfortable reading this as well … But to be honest, all our grief for a lost person (even through death) is self-centered. When I grieved for the loss of my mother, I realized that in fact I didn´t grieve for her as a person, but for not having her by my side. She now leads a far better life in heaven, without illness and pain. My head knew this but my heart was still aching.

      So I guess the grief of the author is similar. Her heart ached although she knew that the boy has a good (or in his situation even better) home now.

      Good to know that God doesn´t discern between selfish and unselfish grief but listens to all our sorrows. :)

    • April D

      Yes, I too see where you are coming from, but I think that perhaps that the child’s well being goes without saying or mentioning – the author clearly already loved and cared for this child as her own, in her heart. So even though that part of the child’s story isn’t mentioned here it’s true and it’s the pain and grief that relate to this psalm, where as another psalm a prayer of thanksgiving might have shifted the connection. We always have so much to learn…

    • Lorrie Bee

      Sometimes those thoughts are best kept inside our heads, because they heap shame and condemnation on the one who is hurting. Instead of easing the pain of the one who suffers, it adds to it.

    • Jay

      Can I be candid for a minute? I cannot imagine the pain she must’ve gone through. I’m not quite sure how someone couldn’t see that when you have prepared for months to bring home what you have been told is your child, you develope a bond immediately to that little person. It doesn’t go away just because that child is going to stay with his biological family. If it did, that would be quite strange. I don’t mean to sound harsh or simplify a complicated situation but I can completely understand her grief and I have never faced anything like this- but I am a mother.

    • Hannah Whitaker

      when we lost our son he got to stay with Jesus. We never got to hear his voice, see him grow or laugh with him. And although he was in the best environment ever possible, I still grieved that we would never get to enjoy him in our presence. I imagine this is a grief of dreams and hopes and expecting a baby in any way and then having that taken away however it may be is going to come with grief.

    • Betsy Gibson

      I think this is a situation that is very painful for the author and her realness and openness is an encouragement to me. It may be best for the child to stay with family, but we don’t know the situation in which he will be in.

    • Marytony Torres

      I actually appreciated so much how real and raw the author was about her grief and pain through it all, and that is the point. Sometimes we keep or conceal the realness of the pain to show a “right” response…. (or what we think that should look like).
      We will very likely get later to a point to see or appreciate the benefits of the situation (like you mention, in this case, the well-being of the child), but the realness of the pain hits first like a ton of bricks. And it is when we are true to what we are feeling and bring it to the feet of Jesus that we are able to see the beauty of who He is and how He carries us through.

    • Wendy

      Jesus wept when he new Lazarus was about to come back. Grieving loss is not selfish. It is human.

    • songbird

      Alright thanks for your responses. There were some things in there that I didn’t realise. Like how God understands every sort of grieve, whatever the reason or the nature. It’s just that I’ve seen and read too much about cases such as child trafficking and baby farms all because white people want to adopt children from Africa or Asia that my main concern goes not to the parents grieving their loss but the societal impact of adoption. Where there’s a demand (childlessness) there will be money involved, and where money is involved, there’s a risk of perversion of something that is meant to be beautiful and noble.

      I am NOT saying I oppose to all cases of adoption, but I found it very hard to relate to this devotion because my first thought was: how great that some cases of adoption are suspended because the biological family can care for the child.

      So yes, I am aware that this may hurt people. But I do feel it’s important people consider this.

      However, thank you for helping me to empathise more with the author of the piece. And for giving me the comfort that my loss – even if for the better – is also safe in God’s arms.

      • Lindsey

        Songbird, my oldest daughter was adopted from China. And it grieves me that she was abandoned for whatever reason by her biological parents. It grieves me that she will never know them. But I thank God that He is a redeemer and healer and that he chose my husband and me to be her parents. I am so thankful she will not have to spend the rest of her life in an orphanage without parents. It is devastating to think of the millions of children who are living in orphanages right now, who will one day age out and live on the streets and most likely end up being trafficked, becoming addicted to drugs or committing suicide. For those of who are adoptive or foster parents or who have experienced infertility, this post was of course much easier to relate to. I also would encourage you to research organizations doing some awesome things in the adoption world. Organizations who are using ethical practices and who work towards family reunification. While sadly there are many unethical practices in adoptions, everything is not as it seems. Start with Lifeline Children’s Services, Morningstar Foundation and Help One Now.

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