Friday, September 23, 2011

Why are you in despair, O my soul?

And why have you become disturbed within me?

These lines come from the writer of the 42nd Psalm. This evening, as on many previous, those words resonated deep within me.

I have been feeling anxious. Nothing all too new to me as I am nearly 12 years familiar with the dropping in my stomach, the icy hot tingling on the back of my neck and the feeling of dread and despair that quickens my pulse.

What has become frustrating is that I cannot think of any particulars of which I am finding myself fearful. It could be many things, walking about my current home seeing boxes of my roommates things as he prepares to move out tomorrow is certainly a reminder of life's inevitable changes. Which on the forefront I rarely take delight.

Could it be the stresses of looking for full time employment? The worries of never finding a loving spouse? The fear of failing the people to whom I have made commitments? Perhaps.

These thoughts plague the minds of many at my age but I cannot help but think it may be deeper. A melancholy that is scarred on my being. This fear that I am struggling to keep my head just above the water and that a large wave is all that is needed to succumb me to the depths. Occasionally the past seems filled only with guilt and sadness and the future looming with fear of pain and loss.

It gets overwhelming. Too often I seek to distract myself but inevitably I find myself alone in my room and on edge.

Loneliness has been an intense battle over the past 6 months. I feel that it contributes to much of what I find myself experiencing but will delve into those meditations another time.

What then, is the solution, relief, and comfort? If any?

A Godless world will tell us to look within. Which from all that I survey is what has actually gotten me into this tar pit.

The Psalmist declares to his own soul and ours.

Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God. 

 Hope. In. God.

Not myself, friends, family, work, healthy, money, spouse, home or any of the other countless things I too often turn to for peace of mind.

This hope is not in vain because I know the character of God. His faithfulness, trustworthiness, goodness, righteousness, justice, lovingkindness, grace and mercy for starters.

The psalmist says that He is our help and our God. I Love the possessiveness that God allows us to have with Him. I am His and He is mine.

The line "for I shall yet praise Him" tells me that this man's trials were far from over but that in the midst of them he would praise God. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:  

You can worry or you can worship but you can't do both.
I have found this to be true. When my foundations are shaking I must cling to the Rock that cannot be moved.

He is where I will seek rest. Refuge. Peace.

O' loving Father may I seek only you for my souls rest. May all other streams dry up and always leave me thirsting for the fountain that satisfies. Please use every minute of these trials to shape me more into that which is most beautiful to you. Teach me to bring my every burdened thought to you in humble prayer. Forgive me for placing hope anywhere but in you. Thank you for your grace and for meeting my greatest needs and being a source of refuge and strength. Hold my hand every step of the journey until we meet face to face and give me the wisdom and heart to encourage my brothers and sisters on our journey home.  Amen.


  1. Even today I experienced anxiety, was encouraged to confront it, give it up to the Lord, commit it to Him, put on some happy music and dance. Anxiety is different in every person, but the Word is the same to each and God powerful enough to bring us through those bouts of anxiety; good enough to teach us to trust Him each new time we fear. In reading "For I shall yet praise Him" Habakkuk 3:16-19 came to mind: "I heard and my inward parts trembled, at the sound my lips quivered. Decay enters my bones, and in my place I tremble. Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress, for the people to arise who will invade us. THOUGH the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, YET I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord GOD is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds' feet, and makes me walk on my high places." He is my strength and I was made to be able to rejoice in the midst of trials if I choose to worship rather than fear knowing my hope is a lifetime greater than my circumstance, and my Lord full of love, compassion, and perfect timing.