I recently spoke to a group of people and included my thoughts on hope and Psalms. I was talking about the New Year and ‘Moving On.’ Then I began to reminisce about my plight—me dealing with aches, pains and life.
Due to the aches and pains from a work injury, I was forced to sit home on worker’s compensation. This left me with an unexpected impasse in my life. It has been confusing, hurtful and painful. Not knowing where to turn, I have done as I do—cried and cried.
While going through the reorganization phase of grief, I reached out and found a therapist. She helped me talk out many of my issues. And between talking to her, God and myself, I came to the conclusion that it was time for me to re-evaluate my life. It was time for me to decide whether or not I could live with the direction that I was headed in. Not that I was doing anything elicit; it was a matter of substance.
So, last year I came to the realization that it was time for me to grow. I needed to change how I explained my purpose in life to myself. And one day as I sat down to think, I browsed the Bible. Somehow as I turned the pages, I stopped at Psalm 13.
Since that day, I have read that passage on a regular basis. Though it does not explicitly refer to a situation such as mine, it speaks to me.
Prayer of One in Sorrow
For the leader. A Psalm of David.
How long, O Lord? Will you utterly forget me?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long shall I harbor sorrow in my soul, grief in my heart day after day?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look, answer me. O Lord, my God!
Give light to my eyes that I may not sleep in death, lest my enemy say, “I have overcome him”;
Lest my foes rejoice at my downfall, though I trusted in your kindness.
Let my heart rejoice in your salvation; let me sing of the Lord, “He has been good to me.”
My Study Bible tells me that this speaks of a psalmist who is seriously ill, and expresses fear that enemies will interpret his or her death as a divine judgment. So the psalmist prays for a healing that will signal to the enemies that he or she enjoys God’s favor. It ends with a statement of trust in God and a statement of praise.
Before I referenced my Study Bible, I drew my own understanding of this Psalm. I still do this. Psalm 13 says to me that I have been struck by an illness (whether it is physical or emotional). And as I read, I remember that God does love me. He wants me to hold my head up. He wants me to do what makes me happy. This higher power has a plan for me; I just have to realize that and be proactive in order to make it happen.
I want everyone to read and share these thoughts. Regardless of your religion or lack thereof, we must all find our purpose in life.
And no matter what obstacles come across your path, you can overcome them. Search out and find answers. Have conversations with yourself. Take space from those around you. Give yourself time to process. Then, and only then, your purpose will become clear.
So let’s remember what Polonius said to his son, Laertes, in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “This above all: to thine own self be true…”