(Note from Kat: Today’s post is from my sweet friend, Katie Orr. She is truly a woman of the Word. She has organized all of our Maximize Your Mornings Challenge Bible Studies and has inspired many to study and memorize scripture. I love her honesty and hope in today’s post.)
I’ve had some dark days lately. This cloud has followed me, off and on, for a few years now. While I feel as if I am just now realizing the depths of the darkness, God has been faithful to bring me hope through His Word.
I love the honesty of the psalmists. There are deep emotions communicated in this God-breathed book of the Bible; it makes me feel normal or at least glad I’m not alone in my craziness.
There is much to be learned from these men of God, as they walked through depression, betrayal and deep, deep hurt. While I haven’t experienced betrayal or enemies chasing after my physical destruction, my soul has it’s own enemies. As I follow the example of the psalmists, here are three actions I have found helpful:
Taking my emotions to the Lord.
For the enemy has pursued my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead. Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled…Answer me quickly, O Lord ! My spirit fails!
Psalm 143:3-4, 7
David was honest. He didn’t pretend to have it all together. I can be oh-so-guilty of this. Sometimes it’s because I don’t the energy to go into it all. Other times I am too prideful to admit my defeat.
God knows my heart. He already knows my grief, my struggles, my darkness. He is not surprised when I confess that I have yelled at my kids, again. He is not sitting on go, ready to desert me if I can’t get my act together. He is not looking at me, wondering why I can’t be happy.
He knows. He loves me anyway.
Telling my emotions what is true.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
Did you notice how David talks to himself? “Hope in God!” He does it again in verse 11, and the very next chapter in verse 5.
This is why I must cling to scripture. Without truth embedded on my heart, my heart has no choice but to despair. If the truth of God’s character is not ingrained into the crevasses of this mommy-brain, I will forget that I am not alone.
I must tell my emotions what is true. Though I feel lost and trapped, my Savior is coming.
He is my salvation.
He is praise-worthy.
He is my God.
Trusting in God by running to Him.
In Psalm 143, David confidently expressed the depths of his despair to the God whom He knew would deliver him. David communicated his trust in God by running to Him as his only hope.
- He ran to God for affirmation:
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Psalm 143:8
- He ran to God for direction:
Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul…Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!
- He ran to God for protection and rest:
Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord! I have fled to you for refuge! Psalm 143:8-10
I certainly don’t have this figured out. I struggle. Daily. But God, in His great and glorious grace has given me what I’ve need, through the truth in His word.
Note: A reminder that registration for the Maximize Your Mornings Fall Challenge ends this Friday (9/2) at midnight EST.
Pastor’s wife and mother of three, Katie Orr loves to teach God’s Word. Longing to equip others to walk with the Lord for a lifetime, Katie has taught small group Bible studies for over thirteen years. She served on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ for seven years before God called their family to pastoral ministry. She blogs about devotion to that which is eternal at LivingDevotionally.com and is the creator of DoNotDepart.com, where you can receive encouragement and tools to abide in God’s Word. Follow her on Twitter at @KatieOrr22.