I think if we could have conversations with the writers of Psalms, we would receive compassion and encouragement. I think this because just reading the Psalms gives me hope. That hope can move me beyond the dumps, even if it’s temporary.
I’m taking a break from 2 Kings (would’ve been chapter 14 today) because my Bible study partner and I have not yet met this week (plan is to meet on Friday). There are several things I found in the chapter, but many more questions to discuss and wrestle through with my Bible study partner.
I’m reading the Psalms and praying them back to God in my morning daily devotions. I started when the Coronavirus isolation began. I must say they have helped me navigate through my current state of a very low depression (part situational and part my bipolar). When there are stressors, events, feelings, and circumstances that weigh me down, I need to remind myself that there are others, who have impressively written out their emotions and responses to God, for me to imitate and gain some peace.
If I allow myself to identify with the emotions expressed in most of the Psalms, and read each Psalm all the way through, I’m led to a place of peace under God’s guidance and protection. I will confess. I am in a place of yelling at God, then settling as I read His words of love and care for me in the Psalms.
Today I prayed through Psalm 43. It was a short one (five verses), so with my limited attention span right now, it was a good one for me to read. I believe God arranged it that way as I’ve been reading the Psalms in order and this was next. Back to the Psalm. I highlighted verses 3-4 in my Bible. They say (in the NLT):
out your light and your truth;
let them guide me.
Let them lead me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you live.
There I will go to the altar of God,
to God—the source of all my joy.
I will praise you with my harp,
O God, my God!
I like this because it tells me that even when I can’t quite figure out how to pray or praise, I can pray that He will send out His light and truth and guide me. If I remember the passages I have memorized and/or read His Word, His Truth, I will be met by God and experience His joy. He is the source of all joy. My attitude and mood adjust – not all the way back to a balance – but some peace and hope will enter and I can sit with that for a few minutes. I can always return to the Psalms when I next feel like I’m drowning and overwhelmed, and He’ll still meet me there.
So, when you are in the dumps, just go to God’s Word, especially the Psalms, and realize you have never been alone in your struggle and that, God’s truth and peace are available at any moment.