By: J. Todd Billings – Christianity Today – January/February 2019
AFTER I WAS diagnosed with cancer five years ago, I returned to the Book of Psalms anew. I started to pray with psalms that I had merely read before or had skipped altogether. While I was receiving intense chemo, a seminary student told me he was praying Psalm 102 for me.
In my distress, I groan aloud
and am reduced to skin and bones.
I am like a desert owl,
like an owl among the ruins. (v. 5-6)
My heart skipped a beat. As I read on, I found that the psalm contained a complaint and a petition that I felt deeply but did not know how to express:
In the course of my life he broke my strength;
he cut short my days.
So I said:
“Do not take me away, my God,
in the midst of my days;
your years go on through all generations.”
Please, Lord, my children are one and three. Please don’t cut me off “in the midst of my days.” Your years, oh God, “go on through all generations.” You have plenty.