This time of the year begins to usher in greater feelings of depression for people. The daylight hours get shorter and the weather gets cooler. We spend more time indoors and simply have more time to think about our problems and woes.
There seem to be plenty of woes to go around in the world these days and the general mood of many people that write or call me is one of fear, depression, or anxiety brought on by situations in life they cannot control.
If this describes where you are today, I invite you to consider this little poem or Psalm I came across:
"Oh God, where are you in my sorrow? Where are you in my distress? Where are you with answers and help? Oh God I need you. I am washed over with grief and sorrow, my heart is failing within me. Oh God, comfort me in my distress this morning! Lift up my countenance bring me hope and joy! Remove these dark clouds of despair from my heart and mind. Each time I think the darkness can grow no deeper I am brought lower into the abyss of sorrow and mourning. My life has taken jolting twists and turns and I fear I do not know where I will wind up in the end. It is as though I am on a runaway cart in the darkest cavern and I am holding on for dear life. Where can I find You Lord? Where do I go to bask in Your goodness and light? I wish to hide myself in Thee, in the folds of Your magnificent train. Comfort me in my distress Oh Lord, for I am weak and failing to stand."
This was written by someone who was obviously in some trouble! You can hear a grieving heart and the words of a person who is in distress. I think these sentiments would accurately describe many people I have contact with.
The world's answers to these feelings is medication to artificially pump us up and alter the chemicals in our bodies so we feel no pain. I have to admit, that when I find myself "washed over with grief and sorrow" as our psalmist says above those are tempting thoughts! No one likes to suffer, no one likes to feel sad and if there is a way out of it, then why not take it?
However, that is not the path we chose when Christ redeemed us. We have chosen a hard road in following Christ...There is simply nothing about this life that is going to be easy or soft for us. Even knowing this, what do we do when we are in tremendous suffering and experiencing deep rivers of sorrow and grief that want to sweep us away? When I am in that place of emotional turmoil all I want to do it sit and stare at the wall. I could spiritualize it and say that I am "being still before God" but in my heart I know what I am doing has little spiritual benefit. What I am really doing is meditating on my problems and ruminating on my sorrows.
How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Psalm 13:2 (NASB)
When the Psalmist says he is taking counsel in his soul it means he is thinking about his problems. This is resulting in having sorrow in his heart all day long.
Rather than wallowing in our misery we must mine the gold from the Word of God that will bring us up from the darkness and gloom and find our way into His glorious joy and rest once again. It seems to be the last thing I want to do in my flesh and emotions, but it truly is the only remedy for such times.