Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD;
Lord, hear my voice.
Do you ever feel like no one’s listening to you? I used to live in New York City, a city of eight million people, but some days Midtown Manhattan felt like the loneliest place on earth. I had friends, family close by, fellow students, a congregation, and yet I felt so very alone. It was in Manhattan I began to cry out to God, at about this time ten years ago, in fact. I thought I’d get an immediate answer, or at least feel better.
The psalmist doesn’t promise that we’ll feel less lonely if we cry out to God, but he does promise the redemption of sins as only God can redeem us. If we view sin in the ancient Hebrew way as “alienation” or straying from the Way. But the psalmist doesn’t say God will swoop into our hearts or lives and make us feel better. Rather, the psalmist stresses patience:
I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Cry out to the Lord, but be patient in waiting for the response. I would submit that it’s Advent all year long, that while turning to God for comfort is a big step in the Christian Way (humility, anyone?), the meaning is actually in the waiting. When we wait with our whole being, we are transformed.
So cry from the depths to God, but wait with your whole being trusting while the answer may be months or years in coming, there is indeed meaning in the waiting.