A few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with COVID. I had caught it at the beginning of the pandemic, and I thought this was going to be an easy recovery. Little did I know the train wreck that was upon me: Full blown body aches, 103 fevers, goosebump-inducing chills, nausea, the whole I-think-I-need-a-doctor kind of sick.
My doctor prescribed some antiviral pills and ibuprofen for the fevers; he told me I needed stay hydrated, get rest and quarantine from the rest of the family (yeah right!).
Day two was the hardest day, with the worst fevers, going on maybe five hours of sleep, and I remember begging God to take this away. Funny how quickly we turn to God when we are in need. Apparently, I’m not the only one.
Many before me, before us really, have cried out to God in their time of need. We find many of their prayers in the Psalms. Psalm 88 is especially important in my view.
“Do you work wonders for the dead? Do the departed rise up to praise you?”
You see, the Psalms are full of prayers, requests, supplications, adorations, all pointed toward the Infinite God. And for most of these prayers, the text almost always ends in a note of hope. Except here in Psalm 88.
Now, here is where things get beautiful: Psalm 88 was written by a guy named Heman. We know from 1 Chronicles 6 that Heman was the leader of the Kohathite Guild of Musicians and Poets, who wrote these Psalms. Scholars argue these are the greatest Psalms in The Psalter, making Heman one of the greatest artists in the history of the world.
Sometimes we think pain and hopelessness is so overwhelming we often miss the incredible power of Christ’s light, shining in our darkest hours. Because of Heman’s painful, hopelessness darkness, that darkness turned him into an incredible artist, and through his art, God has healed millions of souls by providing comfort, encouragement and hope.
In the text, Heman makes these huge accusations of God, and he questions God, and he struggles with God. And though Heman would probably never dream you and I would be talking about his art 2,500 years later, here we are.
And here’s the point, God had a purpose for Heman, and God has a purpose for you! God never left Heman, and he will never leave you. Heman asked God if the dead could come back to praise him, as if that was impossible to God. And the answer is YES.
Jesus raised the son of Nain, Jesus raised Jairu’s daughter, Jesus raised his best friend Lazarus, Jesus raised himself; and one day, he will raise me, and he will raise you. And we will lift our resurrected voices in praise to the God that can even use darkness.
Written by Diego Silva, MPA, director of strategic projects with government relations for Buckner International.