Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn like glowing embers. My heart is blighted and withered like grass; I forget to eat my food. Because of my loud groaning I am reduced to skin and bones. I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins. I lie awake; I have become like a bird alone on a roof.
All day long my enemies taunt me; those who rail against me use my name as a curse. For I eat ashes as my food and mingle my drink with tears because of your great wrath, for you have taken me up and thrown me aside. My days are like the evening shadow; I wither away like grass.
But you, O LORD, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations. You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come. For her stones are dear to your servants; her very dust moves them to pity.
The nations will fear the name of the LORD, all the kings of the earth will revere your glory. For the LORD will rebuild Zion and appear in his glory. He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.
Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD: “The LORD looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death.”
So the name of the LORD will be declared in Zion and his praise in Jerusalem when the peoples and the kingdoms assemble to worship the LORD. In the course of my life he broke my strength; he cut short my days. So I said: “Do not take me away, O my God, in the midst of my days; your years go on through all generations.
In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end. The children of your servants will live in your presence; their descendants will be established before you.”
No matter what else happens in your life, you can be sure of one thing. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever. (Hebr.13:8) Whether you live to a ripe old age or die young, enjoy good health or battle sickness, live a life of privilege or poverty, bask in the bright glow of worldly fame or drift through the gray haze of anonymity, His promise to you remains the same. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:1-3)
As acclaimed cartoonist Mark Newgarden observed, “We all die alone.” Sure, people can be at our bedside holding our hands and praying, but I’ve watched enough people die to know that at the moment our life on Earth ends, no one there will be able to share the experience with us. The journey from here to eternity begins with the shedding of all our earthly accoutrements, and at least for the short term that includes relationships as well. No one from here accompanies us on our walk toward the light.
How comforting it will be at that moment to know that all of God’s promises are true.
“This too shall pass,” the proverb tells us. No matter what your earthly situation or circumstance, it’s only temporary, and you know not when it will end. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” Jesus said. (Matt.24:35) I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26)
So don’t allow the good to manipulate you, or the bad to intimidate you. Trust in the Lord, rejoice in all things, give thanks always. Learn, like Paul, the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. And what is this secret? I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Phil. 4:12-13). For the Lord is good, His compassions are new every morning, and His mercy endures forever.