By: Isaiah Lewis
Psalm 130
Reflection—v. 5 ‘I hope, LORD. My whole being hopes, and I wait for God’s promise.’

I have to admit, I have a contentious relationship with hope. There have been some points in my life when hope felt naïve at best and dangerous at worst. I assumed that anyone who was hopeful about the future simply wasn’t paying attention to the suffering of the human beings all around them. But I also worried that my feelings of hopelessness meant that I didn’t trust God, that I wasn’t faithful, and that maybe that meant God loved me less as a result. This psalm comforts me because its writer begins with not one, but two direct calls for God’s attention to their suffering. They invoke God by name—the LORD, the liberator and life-bringer and system disruptor—and say, ‘Hey, listen up. I need you!’ The psalmist knows all about trouble and knows God sees the mess that they’re in, including the ways in which they may have contributed to it. But they still trust God to listen to them, have mercy on them, and forgive them. And this is a pilgrimage song, which means that while they’re singing about needing God, they’re literally getting closer and closer to the holy place. I know that I need the loving attention of God to save me from the oppression I inflict on myself and other people. Most people do, I think. And my whole being hopes for God’s promise to us all.

Prayer Lord, come meet us in our hope

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