I marvel at Heman, the poet who wrote Psalm 88. His lot in life was unrelieved distress. “My soul is full of troubles,” he lamented (v.3). He was fed up with suffering!

Heman looked back and remembered poor health and misfortune. He looked around and saw adversity and abandonment. He looked up and found no solace. “I am distraught,” he complained (v.15). He was “adrift” (v.5), “in darkness” (v.6), “afflicted” (vv.7,15), and “cast off” (v.14). He could see no light at the end of the tunnel; no resolution of his sorrow.

Heman’s honesty warms my soul. Christians who never struggle confuse me. There’s balance, of course: No one wants to be around those who babble on all day about their troubles, but it does my heart good to know that someone else has struggled.

Yet, there’s more to Heman than mere candor. He also had a stubborn, intractable faith. Despite his many problems, he clung to God and cried out to Him “day and night” (vv.1,9,13). He didn’t stop praying. He didn’t give up. And even though he didn’t sense it at the time, Heman acknowledged God’s lovingkindness, faithfulness, and righteousness (vv.11-12).

I like folks like Heman. They strengthen my grip on God and remind me never to stop praying.