1Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you.
2Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress. Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call.
3For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace.
4My heart is stricken and withered like grass; I am too wasted to eat my bread.
5Because of my loud groaning my bones cling to my skin.
6I am like an owl of the wilderness, like a little owl of the waste places.
7I lie awake; I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
8All day long my enemies taunt me; those who deride me use my name for a curse.
9For I eat ashes like bread, and mingle tears with my drink,
10because of your indignation and anger; for you have lifted me up and thrown me aside.
11My days are like an evening shadow; I wither away like grass.
12But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever; your name endures to all generations.
13You will rise up and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to favor it; the appointed time has come.
14For your servants hold its stones dear, and have pity on its dust.
15The nations will fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth your glory.
16For the Lord will build up Zion; he will appear in his glory.
17He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and will not despise their prayer.
18Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord:
19that he looked down from his holy height, from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,
20to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die;
21so that the name of the Lord may be declared in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem,
22when peoples gather together, and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.
23He has broken my strength in midcourse; he has shortened my days.
24“O my God,” I say, “do not take me away at the mid-point of my life, you whose years endure throughout all generations.”
25Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26They will perish, but you endure; they will all wear out like a garment. You change them like clothing, and they pass away; 27but you are the same, and your years have no end.
28The children of your servants shall live secure; their offspring shall be established in your presence.
Psalm 102 opens amid the psalmist’s loneliness and isolation, one I am sure, we too have sat within; the pain of lament felt in your very bones. The first twelve verses share that lament with God but then turns to a prayer of restoration of Zion as a sign of God’s restoration of the people a truth one can hold secure. While our lives and very garments may wither with time; the steadfast love will be everlasting.
Gracious Lord, for all the pain and isolation of life, I ask your love to bind up and mend. In Christ Jesus, whose love and strength comes each day in the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, revive and quench our withering hearts, Amen.