Read: Psalm 31:9-16
For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing; my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed. … I am as useless as a broken pot.
-Psalm 31:10, 12b
Palm Sunday is a cacophony of extremes, starting with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem before adoring crowds; descending all too quickly into the horrors of arrest, trial, bloodthirsty mobs, and agonizing crucifixion in a full public display; and from this pit of despair emerging triumphant over the final enemy, death. And the world is changed forever.
But that pendulum swing from one state to another is our experience, too. Life, no matter how well lived, does not promise anyone an easy time of it. Many of us do our best to put the down times out of our minds, and many of us will not advertise our failures, pains, and losses. We often deal with our griefs primarily in our own minds and hearts. Sometimes we have no choice. Jesus was deserted by his best-loved friends and suffered alone. Alone.
So, what is it with this psalmist, who goes public with his fraught life and fears of his enemies? He energetically lays out samples of what stinks (“they plot to take my life”) and takes a good long time to get around to seeking God’s help. But he does, at last, get there.
If we have similar low times, perhaps it’s good to remember that we can turn to God. We don’t have to be alone.
O LORD, my times are in your hand… make your face to shine upon your servant, and your loving-kindness to save me. Amen.