March Reading from The Message

March 1, 2022

The Psalms are packed with lament and praise. There are times and seasons where each type has its place, but here in Psalm 13 one organically emerges from the other…

1-2 Long enough, God—

you’ve ignored me long enough.

I’ve looked at the back of your head

long enough. Long enough

I’ve carried this ton of trouble,

lived with a stomach full of pain.

Long enough my arrogant enemies

have looked down their noses at me.

3-4 Take a good look at me, God, my God;

I want to look life in the eye,

So no enemy can get the best of me

or laugh when I fall on my face.

5-6 I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms—

I’m celebrating your rescue.

I’m singing at the top of my lungs,

I’m so full of answered prayers.

Scripture Insight

In Lament, Praise Erupts

Sometimes in the middle of a terrible lament, praise erupts. In Psalm 13, for instance. The prayer is pure lament. There’s no evidence in the prayer that even one of the psalmist’s complaints is answered; there’s no sign that even a first installment is made on granting his petition. There’s no hint that the desperate conditions change into anything less desperate. But abruptly and unaccountably the lament metamorphoses into praise.

If we pray our laments long enough and honestly enough, sometimes when we least expect it, something beautiful happens. The dark clouds of despair part, and through the parting, we catch a glimpse of the sun. When that happens, as it did with the psalmist, it’s hard to contain the joy we feel.

150 Guided Reflections

Here in the Message Prayerful Reading Bible the Bible in contemporary language is placed alongside the ancient Christian practice of lectio divina, or sacred reading. There is ample space for journaling and reflection. Take a look inside…

Learn more about the Prayerful Reading Bible and the six steps of the Lection Divina here – What is Lectio Divina?