I read Psalm 90 this morning for devotions — what a depressing poem! Almost every verse is another poetic way of describing the misery of life.
The one request that Moses (the author) makes is “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom (Psalm 90:12, NLT).” The sense I got this morning from the Psalm was “Since life is going to be tough, the best gift we can get from God is wisdom.”
Wisdom and suffering have reciprocal relationship. Wisdom helps us make the most of the suffering — redeeming misery in various ways. But suffering is our primary trainer in wisdom; we gain immeasurable wisdom from the suffering we endure.
As I thought about this Psalm, this thought came to mind (alert: this is a thought not fully processed). No one is given happiness. Each person must fashion happiness for him or herself out of the pain and drudgery of life. As we become aware of God’s presence even in our pain, we gain wisdom, and our joy grows.