Thoughts on Psalm 55

My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.  Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.  Psalm 55:4,5

This is Not Happening…

The men from our church placed two spruce poles across the open grave, the hole in the frozen ground where they intended to put our son.  They slid the casket onto the poles and there it sat, suspended over the chasm.  Unreal.  

I stood there calmly next to the hole, but everything in me wanted to scream “No!  Wait!  Let’s talk about this.   There must be another way.   You cannot put my son in there!”

It was as if they were getting ready to throw my little boy off a cliff.

… … …

The writings of other parents who have buried children have been of tremendous comfort to me.  It is nothing short of a rescue at sea to read your own heartache in the words of another; to wail through sloppy tears, “Yes, that’s just how it is!”  

Likewise, I often find my emotions voiced perfectly in the pages of God’s Word.  Since Hans left us for Heaven, I have spent some time each day reading in the Psalms.  Circled in my Bible are many verses that have spoken to my heart in a special way these past months.

Here are some of them from Psalm 55:

Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.

The first three nights after the crash, I did not sleep more than a few hours total.  I was in complete fight or flight mode with the adrenaline urging me to flee – to get up and go to where Hans is.  To fly.  To find him.

I knew he was Home with the Lord and that he was safe and happy.  But his body, the beautiful body that used to be my little boy, was at the medical examiner’s in Anchorage.  Then he was on a plane again back to Fairbanks.  Then he was at the funeral home.  These are not places where you want your child to be.

Why does he not come home?  He always calls.  Were those his headlights I just saw on the bedroom door?  One of my children is not in their bed where they are supposed to be. 

How, how can this be?! 

On and on the thoughts screamed through my head making sleep impossible.

Listen, when you read about someone crying out to the Lord in anguish, I mean real crying out and real anguish, and they say they prayed in their agony and God gave them an immediate and profound peace – believe them.  It happened to me in a very astonishing way at a time when I thought I just might really lose it – I mean I was truly coming apart, being torn apart.  The pain was ferocious, eviscerating, stunning.  I could whisper only two words:

“Help me.”

And then, I felt it come.  From the top of my head it poured down over me and shut my mouth – so abruptly, that I laughed.


It wasn’t the everything-is-fine-and-my-problems-are-all-gone kind of “peace.”  It was something I never felt before.  The plug had been pulled.  And as the pain drained out the bottom of my soul, a holy hush took its place, filling me from the top and then running over, quenching my hot tears in an instant.  This peace was cleaner than contentment and softer than happiness.  I was in the arms of my Father.

It did not last as long as I would have liked.  It was a temporary cease-fire allowing the women and children to exit the field of battle.  But I did not return to my wailing.  I was instantly “O.K.” – functional and able to return to whatever I was supposed to be doing.

So, what happened here?  Just this: I had received comfort from the God of all comfort.

Just when I most desperately needed Him, He was there – as He always is.

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4

More Excerpts from Psalm 55

 And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.  Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah.  I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.

If I step out my front door, walk around to the back of the house, down the outhouse trail and over the little bridge that crosses the creek, and keep walking, I will eventually come to Siberia.  Of course, I would never make it, but you get the idea.  There is a wilderness out there and it will kill you if you are not careful.  I thought about that – not that I wanted to die in the wilderness – but I thought, “If I start walking and keep going until I am too tired to walk back, I will freeze to death.  It is well below zero degrees today – I could be with Hans in an hour.”

I in no way wanted to die – I have a wonderful family that I love – plus, I hate to be cold.  But these are the kinds of things you think of when you are in a tempest of grief, a wild, shrieking storm of sorrow.

As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.  Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Call upon God.  He is there and ready to comfort you.

He has promised.

Read or listen to the entire Psalm 55 here.

Psalm 55 non-English

For further study

In the comments, please share how God has comforted you.

Preview or purchase 'Never Ceasing: God's Faithfulness in Grief' by Kim Nolywaika

Read more Thoughts on the Psalms:

12 thoughts on “Thoughts on Psalm 55

  1. Pingback: Revised Post: Thoughts on Psalm 55 | You Can Trust Him

  2. Kim – I am so glad that you know our God, who is our Comforter, because my heart breaks for the pain you are going through with the loss of your son. God knows how to meet us in our pain, and the Psalms are medicine for the hurting soul.

    Liked by 1 person


    So deeply moved by your loss. I can’t begin to imagine the pain of losing a child. One of our pastors 30 year old son was killed recently in a crash. His death was immediate. Hr left two little girls and a loving wife. This kind of grief takes time to heal and I believe the feelings you’re experiencing are normal. Its hard to see God’s hand in any of it, but be strong and have faith that it’s all part of his plan.

    Liked by 1 person


        They are slowly recovering. Death seems so final, but just for those left behind. When we have the promise of eternal life, we can be assured of seeing our loved ones again. You have my deepest condolences as well and I will pass yours along to my pastor and family.

        Liked by 1 person

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