Your wrath has swept over me;
your terrors have destroyed me.
All day long they surround me like a flood;
they have completely engulfed me.
You have taken from me friend and neighbor—
darkness is my closest friend.
-Psalm 88:16-18, NIV
And so ends Psalm 88.
In total darkness.
My best friend told me once that he and another friend would refer to a very bad day as a “Psalm 88 Day.” It fits. There’s not even a glimmer of hope in this Psalm. The psalmist does not fill us with sunshine and puppies.
The psalmist is honest:
Some days end with darkness as our closest friend.
When I was in the midst of the worst stress, I found the Psalms as my friends. They gave voice to my feelings and made me feel less alone. Even and especially a dark Psalm like this gave me comfort. I was not the only one who felt alone and covered in darkness by the end of the day tormented by terrors.
And I could be completely honest about this. The psalmist was. And his words are in the Bible!
I write this post for those of you who have had a Psalm 88 Day (or month). It’s okay to voice these feelings. God is big enough to hear your honest feelings. He will never turn you away.
And you are not alone.
You stand with me, this psalmist, and many, many saints over literally thousands of years who have felt similarly voicing their honest feelings to God.