13. Relent, O Lord! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants.
14. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16. May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.
17. May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us;
establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.
Reflection by Darlene Wagner
To “sing for joy and be glad all our days” (verse 14), is a matter of attitude, not circumstance. During prayer-time, while nurturing an awareness of Divine Presence, a joyful attitude may come easily. Throughout the routine of the entire work day and week, however, joy can become elusive. Moreover, our gladness and optimism are likely to break beneath the exceptional hardships of this year. Are we really to be glad in the midst of pandemics, civil unrest, and widespread poverty? According to verse 15, the very hardships themselves are a cause for joy. Affliction can be a sign that the Spirit is at work in one’s life, bringing growth. “Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son” Hebrews 12:6.
As fears and sorrows hem me in on every side,
My heart longs for you Dearest, Loving Father.
In selfishness I’ve walked and wandered far and wide,
Yet your reproof shows how I’m to recover.
How great your constancy midst all my stumbling!
My life’s-breath longs for your light’s guidance.
Midst all my life-long hurts, I trust your healing!
My failing body hopes for your hand’s sustenance.