Psalm 13: Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the LORD’s praise,
for he has been good to me.
“I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
This is a famous quote from Fannie Lou Hamer, a powerful voice in the Civil Rights movement. Here is an excerpt about Hamer from a 2017 article on the Daily Beast (which you can read in its entirety here):
“Hamer declared in her plaintive, outspoken way: “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired!”
It was a phrase heard around the world. Hamer’s passionate testimony was televised before a national audience. Her powerful perspective shed light on the conditions of blacks and the injustices they endured fighting for civil rights. The event became a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement and a historic time in Mississippi politics.”
Fannie Lou Hamer put words to what was happening to Black and African American people in her time. This passionate outcry was a lament for her people. In the devotion for psalm 5, Tim introduced us to the term ‘lament’. You may have heard this term before, but we defined
lament there as a passionate grieving and sadness. Fannie Lou Hamer happened to have a national audience listening to her, but our lament is heard too. Our laments are heard by God.
I really appreciate the note about psalm 13 in my study bible. It says that psalm 13, “is an individual lament for circumstances where the worshiper is on the verge of despair, his powers of endurance spent.” Wow. I think a lot of us have asked the question, just like David, in this psalm, “how long, O Lord?” This isn’t just a question that David wants answered, but it expresses a feeling of being worn out and not able to endure any longer.
Where does David go after expressing his lament? In verses 3 and 4, David prays to God for help. God has got us in the palm of His hand. He can take our sadness, grief and pain. David ends with a reaffirmation of his trust in God. I think we can learn a lot about God and ourselves in these seasons of lament, but we can be strengthened and encouraged by remembering who God is and all the times He has been faithful, trustworthy and true before.
Challenge: Grab your journal, pen and some headphones. Look up the song “Waymaker” and listen to it. Do you feel like you are at your limit? What are you grieving? Write is out. Then listen to the song again and write down the characteristics of God in this song.
If you are feeling like you are in a dark place and you are not sure what to do, please talk to your parents/guardians or your small group leader. We are here for you!