The poignant message of this prayer begins with these words:

"Hear my prayer, LORD; let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly" (Psalm 102:1-2 TNIV).

The comment before these words describes the author: "A prayer of an afflicted person who has grown weak and pours out a lament before the LORD."

This may describe you.

The conditions around us are temporary!
As you read these words from the Psalmist, do you find yourself crying, "Hear my prayer, LORD; let my cry for help come to you." Do you sometimes wonder if he has hidden his face from you or if he has turned his ear away from you?

When life wears us down and we grow faint, we can come before the Father and pour out our lament ... we shed our tears ... we weep ... we express our grief. We can lay it all in the Lord's hands, freely, openly, with no holding back, no pretending things are better than they are, and no desire to go another day in the shape we are in.

As difficult as it may be, there is probably no safer place than right where we could be at such a moment. In our afflictions, God can strengthen us, sustain us, refresh us and lift us up. He does not leave us.

This "prayer of an afflicted person ..." concludes with these words:

"In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you will remain the same, and your years will never end. The children of your servants will live in your presence; their descendents will be established before you" (Psalm 102:25-28).

In the wisdom of God, one of the great blessings given to those who follow the LORD is that we can come to him in our broken state, and in our times of trouble we can lay all our cares in His hands and know that he hears us. The conditions around us are temporary ... they will perish and be discarded ... but the LORD's presence remains throughout all generations. Our future, and our children's future, is assured by the LORD's ongoing and gracious presence. We, and forever they, can rest assured that when we call to him, he hears us!