I’m the man who has seen trouble,
trouble coming from the lash of GOD’s anger.
He took me by the hand and walked me
into pitch-black darkness.
Yes, he’s given me the back of his hand
over and over and over again.
He turned me into a skeleton
of skin and bones, then broke the bones.
He hemmed me in, ganged up on me,
poured on the trouble and hard times.
He locked me up in deep darkness,
like a corpse nailed inside a coffin.
He shuts me in so I’ll never get out,
handcuffs my wrists, shackles my feet.
Even when I cry out and plead for help,
he locks up my prayers and throws away the key.
He sets up blockades with quarried limestone.
He’s got me cornered.
He’s a prowling bear tracking me down,
a lion in hiding ready to pounce.
He knocked me from the path and ripped me to pieces.
When he finished, there was nothing left of me.
He took out his bow and arrows
and used me for target practice.
He shot me in the stomach
with arrows from his quiver.
Everyone took me for a joke,
made me the butt of their mocking ballads.
He forced rotten, stinking food down my throat,
bloated me with vile drinks.
He ground my face into the gravel.
He pounded me into the mud.
I gave up on life altogether.
I’ve forgotten what the good life is like.
I said to myself, “This is it. I’m finished.
GOD is a lost cause.”
I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
GOD’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with GOD (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.
GOD proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from GOD.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
to stick it out through the hard times.
When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The “worst” is never the worst.
Why? Because the Master won’t ever
walk out and fail to return.
If he works severely, he also works tenderly.
His stockpiles of loyal love are immense.
He takes no pleasure in making life hard,
in throwing roadblocks in the way:
Stomping down hard
on luckless prisoners,
Refusing justice to victims
in the court of High God,
Tampering with evidence—
the Master does not approve of such things.
Who do you think “spoke and it happened”?
It’s the Master who gives such orders.
Doesn’t the High God speak everything,
good things and hard things alike, into being?
And why would anyone gifted with life
complain when punished for sin?