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Posted: June 28, 2012 8:15 p.m.

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A song for the Journey

I cry out to you from the depths, Lord - my Lord, listen to my voice! Let your ears pay close attention to my request for mercy! If you kept track of sins, Lord - my Lord, who would stand a chance? But forgiveness is with you - that's why you are honored. I hope, Lord. My whole being hopes, and I wait for God's promise. My whole being waits for my Lord - more than the night watch waits for morning; yes, more than the night watch waits for morning!
Psalm 130:1-6
(Common English Bible)

Have you ever gone into a store or restaurant when the sun was shining, but when you came out, it was pouring down rain, and you were unprepared? Summer storms pop up unexpectedly. The old saying for our area is "if you don't like the weather in Atlanta, wait a minute." Life is like that as well. Some days, it seems that our days begin bright and cheery, and then unexpectedly, a thunderstorm of work or emotional issues or problems swells and pours, drowning our spirits and darkening our day. Interruptions seem to pop up at the least expected times and can overwhelm us with urgent tasks and emotions to be sorted out immediately. On those days when I am overwhelmed and seem to be drowning in the sea of pressures that weigh down upon me, I find myself turning to the Psalms, the songs of the Bible.

Psalm 130 is sometimes considered a Journey Psalm - a song to sing when the road gets long and hard, and the journey of life bears heavily on us. Hear the passion in the Psalmist's voice as you read these words aloud, "I cry out to you from the depths, Lord - my Lord, listen to my voice!" This is not the sound of one who is having a walk in the park on a nice, sun-shiny day. Rather, it's the sound of one whose life has become burdened under a heavy weight, of one whose mistakes and sins have become too heavy to bear alone, of one whom the waves are crashing around in the midst of the storm. It's the sound of one sinking in the depths of despair.

At those times, when our souls seem to be sinking faster than we can swim, we can cry the words of the Psalmist to the Lord, praying those words that God never refuses to answer - an earnest cry for help. It's at these times when we need a song of hope. The Psalmist reminds us that our hope is not in a tightly honed schedule or a finely polished bank account. Our hope is not in seeing things run smoothly or even in our sun-shiny days. Our hope is in the Lord, in God's promises, and in the one who not only created the earth and the heavens, but who also calms the storms in our hearts.

When the waves are crashing around you, cry out to the Lord, your hope in the time of despair.

Rev. Jan McCoy is the associate pastor of Covington First United Methodist Church in downtown Covington. She may be reached at


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