Then there are Psalms where everything seems to have fallen apart in the life of the Psalmist. Brueggemann describes this as a move to disorientation. For example, Ps 10:1, “Why, O LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” These Psalms tell the familiar story of confusion and anxiety in response to things going unexpectedly wrong in our lives.
What is really beautiful and challenging though is that even the Psalms that are filled with pain and hardship do not usually end in complete despair. There is a move to reorientation. This is because they were written after the event with the benefit of hindsight. The Psalmist has learned to live faithfully with God in the light of painful experiences and suffering. At times in our lives the pain, the grief, the fear, can be so great that we cannot see past it. It is all consuming. We don’t have the benefit of hindsight yet. We don’t know how God will reweave our pain for his higher purposes.