Monday, February 12, 2007

The Cry of My Soul

My soul is down, I am discouraged, I have an empty pit in my stomach. Throughout my entire life, I've had times like this. Sometimes it lasts a couple days, other times much, much longer. What do I do when this happens to me? Well, oftentimes I throw a pity party, I wallow in how badly I feel; it's not pretty, folks. Eventually though, the prompting of the Holy Spirit shines the light on my darkened soul. A call from a good friend, a Scripture that comforts me, a hug from my Hunny, a song on the radio, God has used all of these as a balm to my hurting heart. God created me and I believe that He has His best for me. I have to admit that dark days such as these make me cry out to Him for help, as well as they make me more sensitive to others who may go through similar times.
A good friend of mine gave me a book called, The Cry of the Soul by Dr. Dan Allender and Dr. Tremper Longman. The gripping subtitle reads: How our emotions reveal our deepest questions about God. I won't be able to do the book justice, but basically the authors want us to realize that emotions are not to be avoided or pushed down, but that God gives us our emotions to draw us closer to Him. I have a deep need for Him, but sometimes I walk through life as if I don't need Him. But depression like this, is a clear revelation that I do need Him.

From chapter 11
"Ungodly despair is a flight from desire; it is a refusal to embrace loss as a deepening of the hollowness that makes more room for God. Despair refuses to dream, to hope, and to move with courage toward what we will one day become. If flees to an illusory safe harbor where, isolated, it holds onto whatever pleasure comes from the fantasy of nonexistence. "
"Godly despair is the collapse of self-will; it is the surrender to a reality of becoming that we are powerless to consummate but in which we are granted an opportunity to play a part. Godly despair cries out for perspective but allows the hollowness of loss to move the heart to seek God. "
From Psalm 77
I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the LORD;
at night I stretched out untiring hands
and my soul refused to be comforted. v.1-2

Then I thought, "To this I will appeal;
the years of the right hand of the Most High."
I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago.
I will meditate on all Your works
and consider all Your mighty deeds. v. 10-12

Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?
You are the God who performes miracles;
You display Your power among the peoples.
With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. v. 13-15
Did you catch that? "The psalmist, through his memory--and thus his experience--of who God is and what He has done, has a change of heart. He moves from depression to affirmation of the Lord." (From Cry of the Soul) Keeping a journal, writing down what God has done in my life and how He has used His Word as well as other books, my family and friends as a means of grace to walk closer with Him, helps me to remember and shines hope to get through the day. These things don't necessarily take the depression away, but they give me hope that God is in control, my life is in His hands and it makes me long for home in heaven.

I could say so much more about this, but time does not allow. I will close with this from God's Word, He says,
"I will never leave you nor forsake you" Hebrews 13:5

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