"I will extol the LORD at all times. His praise will always be on my lips... Let the afflicted hear and rejoice... The righteous cry out and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and rescues those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalm 34 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible today, but I remember choking on these words as I read them out loud 3 years ago. I knew I believed them, but my heart was broken and angry. Bitterness had quietly crept inside, tip-toeing about as he made himself at home. I didn't even realize I had left the door open. He slipped right in without a peep. Before long, Bitterness had unpacked his belongings and settled me into a comfortable routine:
Eat. Sleep. Resent. Repeat.
The circumstances in my life seemed out of control. Unbelievable, even. Tim and I talked later about how we couldn't have dreamed up this time of our lives, even if we tried. Our marriage was healthy, but the darkness and fear and pain were real. I wanted to talk about my situation, but my heart wasn't ready. Talking only led to an extended invitation for Bitterness to hang his hat another day longer; to continue decorating my heart with portraits of people I could blame for my anger.
I usually regretted whatever I said, so I didn't say much. I prayed. And cried. And sang.
All I Can Say is a song Tim introduced me to not long after we were married. It's from an old David Crowder album, circa 1999. I had always appreciated its simple and honest nature, but it means more to me now than I ever imagined it would. It's been a while now since Bitterness was evicted. The Lord helped me undergo the long and painful process of restoration- not to a perfect life, but to a life dependent on him. He showed me that he had been there all along, that even in my resentment and anger, he heard all of my cries.
Maybe you feel like you've been all alone. Maybe you are overwhelmed with fear or anger or pain- like the darkness is creeping up to swallow you. I hope more than anything that you find this song an encouragement to hang on. To cry out. Even when you have nothing to say and nothing to offer, the LORD is close to the brokenhearted and rescues those who are crushed in spirit.
(If you are unable to access this audio, click here)