God has been God and will continue to be God forever. When we’re overwhelmed, we often over-fixate on the situation and everything going on. But here we see the psalmist break free from focusing only on the moment at hand. He looks to his everlasting God. It’s encouraging to him that God not only reigns right now, but he always has and always will. In meditating on this, the psalmist recognizes that his life, his situation, and his tired heart are a part of something grand.
Psalm 102 begins with this introduction (and these psalm prescripts are inspired and part of Scripture),
“A prayer of one who is afflicted, when he is faint and pours out his complaint before the LORD” (Psalm 102)
“Afflicted…faint.” The New Living Translation translates it to simpler speech: “A prayer of one overwhelmed with trouble.”
So here we have a prayer of someone overwhelmed. We can relate can’t we? I know I can. Life is going on. Situations are arising. He feels flooded and fearful. He’s pouring out, praying, opening up to his God.
What, then, is his response to his feeling overwhelmed in the psalm? Or to say it in a more compelling way: since this is Scripture and God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), what is God’s answer for us as we feel overwhelmed?
There is not only one answer. But reading this psalm this morning, I encountered an encouraging one.
A Vista for the Soul
In the psalm, the overwhelmed psalmist is honest—brutally honest, encouragingly honest. He talks about how his “heart is struct down like grass and has withered” (Psalm 102:4). He opens up about his “loud groaning” (Psalm 102:5). He compares himself to “a desert owl of the wilderness” (Psalm 102:6). He’s worn out, tired, weary, swamped by his insecurities, fears, and uncertainties.
But then a change comes in verse 12. It’s a response to his overwhelmed heart.