Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
No one quite tells an emotional story like Reba McEntire. In her 1999 hit “What Do You Say” she tells the story of the moments in life when you just “can’t find the words, to tell it like it is.” If you are willing to overlook the 90’s style hair and make-up, and you are up for a tear-jerker, I encourage you to watch the music video for the song. In my opinion, they just don’t make good songs like Reba made them in the 90s.
The song leaves the listerner sad because there are some moments, such as a difficult diagnosis, or a death in the family, when there is simply nothing to say. We are at a loss for words. As a pastor, I have been in more of these moments than I wish to admit. It is my pleasure and calling to be with people in some of their most joyous, but also some of their most challenging moments. My prayer so often includes “give me the words to say, Lord God, when there is nothing to say that will suffice.”
Most often, when this is my prayer, God provides words from Scripture for me to read. My words will always falter and fail, but the words of God will last forever. Psalm 73:23-26 is a great place to go when you find yourself asking, “What should I say?”
Here, the psalmist is frustrated by the evil of the world which seems to surround him, even noticing how the wicked seem to flourish and do well, but even followers of God have trials, hardships, shame, and suffering. He then reassures himself with the words recorded in verses 23 to 26, which remind us of God’s faithful presence (v.23), his wisdom and counsel for us (v. 24), our destination of future glory (v.24-25), and that God is our strength even when our bodies are falling apart (v.26). These are great words to say and remember when there is simply nothing else to say.
No matter what you or a loved one is going through, go back and pray the words of Psalm 73:23-26. Go ahead, read them again now. Now you have something to say – not your words, but God’s own words.
O Lord I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but you are the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Amen
Written by: Pastor Koenig