Psalm 143 (NRSV)
Hear my prayer, O LORD;give ear to my supplications in your faithfulness;answer me in your righteousness. Do not enter into judgment with your servant,for no one living is righteous before you.
For the enemy has pursued me,crushing my life to the ground,making me sit in darkness like those long dead. Therefore my spirit faints within me;my heart within me is appalled.
I remember the days of old,I think about all your deeds,I meditate on the works of your hands. I stretch out my hands to you;my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. [Selah]
Answer me quickly, O LORD;my spirit fails.Do not hide your face from me,or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit. Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning,for in you I put my trust.Teach me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Save me, O LORD, from my enemies;I have fled to you for refuge. Teach me to do your will,for you are my God.Let your good spirit lead meon a level path.
For your name's sake, O LORD, preserve my life.In your righteousness bring me out of trouble. In your steadfast love cut off my enemies,and destroy all my adversaries,for I am your servant.
Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do Itrust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift upmy soul unto thee.
- Psalm 143:8 (KJV)
WHEN a loved one tried to commit suicide, I quickly plunged into a pitof guilt and condemnation. I thought that it had to be at leastpartly my fault, that if I'd recognized the signs, none of this wouldhave happened. It was a time of despair for my loved one and for me.
During that time, a close friend of mine who was unaware of oursituation phoned me to say the Lord had "given" Psalm 143 to her forme, that she was supposed to tell me to read it and rely on it. Ibegan to read that psalm each day, and I taped Psalm 143:8 to ourupstairs phone.
As the days went by, the guilt and condemnation began to leave me. Itwas leaving my loved one who had attempted suicide as well. Lookingback, I now realize that the situation began to improve when we beganto focus on God. Today I see God as a friend I can lean on, no matterhow difficult the problem. I can trust God, no matter how hopelessthings may seem.
Psalm 143:8 is still taped to our phone as a daily reminder that Godis there for me.
Prayer: Dear Lord, when clouds of depression and hopelessnessdescend, teach us to look to you as light for our way. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
The promises of scripture are true for each of us.
Those contemplating suicide
By Linda E. Knight (Ontario, Canada)