In the very prime of life I have to leave. Whatever time I have left is spent in death's waiting room.
No more glimpses of God in the land of the living, No more meetings with my neighbors, no more rubbing shoulders with friends.
This body I inhabit is taken down and packed away like a camper's tent. Like a weaver, I've rolled up the carpet of my life as God cuts me free of the loom And at day's end sweeps up the scraps and pieces.
I cry for help until morning. Like a lion, God pummels and pounds me, relentlessly finishing me off.
I squawk like a doomed hen, moan like a dove. My eyes ache from looking up for help: "Master, I'm in trouble! Get me out of this!"
But what's the use? God himself gave me the word. He's done it to me. I can't sleep - I'm that upset, that troubled.
O Master, these are the conditions in which people live, and yes, in these very conditions my spirit is still alive - fully recovered with a fresh infusion of life!
It seems it was good for me to go through all those troubles. Throughout them all you held tight to my lifeline. You never let me tumble over the edge into nothing. But my sins you let go of, threw them over your shoulder - good riddance!
The dead don't thank you, and choirs don't sing praises from the morgue. Those buried six feet under don't witness to your faithful ways.
It's the living - live men, live women - who thank you, just as I'm doing right now. Parents give their children full reports on your faithful ways.
God saves and will save me. As fiddles and mandolins strike up the tunes, We'll sing, oh we'll sing, sing, for the rest of our lives in the Sanctuary of God.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)