Her wedding day! What joy, what wonder! She has kept herself pure and now the fulfillment of her dreams from a child through her youth and young adulthood is about to be a new reality. Can one do anything except be gloriously glad for her? Ahh, but there’s a thorn with every rose, isn’t there? Notwithstanding today’s horticulture, that was a truth that endured for centuries. Her thorn is that her precious momma, always there, always loving, never anything except the epitome of a great wife, a great mom, and a loving, generous person, contracted ALS two years ago, and can’t walk up the aisle tonight. She will be in a wheelchair, and has held on to life for this beautiful day. The day of wonder, but great sorrow–sorrow almost as great as death, for there has been nothing except a downhill spiral in health for her mom for two years. A disease worse than dementia, for the victim understands the pain being inflicted on their loved ones.
Have you noticed there is a growing desperation on all sides? It seems there is depression inherent in daily life like never before for most of this generation. Yes, there are a few left who can remember the “Great Depression,” but most of those are gone now. It seems we’re going through a new one–one for this generation.
And so we turn to God’s Holy Word for some reassurance, for comfort, and for hope. And here we find it! David, the great king of Israel, in spite of his sins, himself suffered depression as heavy as any we bear. In Psalm 77 we see immediately that he, in his life, was no different than we are in ours! He tells us that he was having troubles so great that no one could help, so he cried out to God, and God listened. How is that different from what we do? We may not pray a lot when things are going well, but oh, let trouble come, especially things too heavy to bear, and things we cannot control, and we turn to God! David said he would lay awake at night, complaining, and his spirit was so overwhelmed he could hardly stand it. In verse 4 he tells us that he couldn’t sleep, and was so troubled he couldn’t speak. Have you been there? Someone asks how you’re doing, and you don’t even feel like answering their question for fear of breaking completely down! Who wants to say “Fine!” when you’re on the bottom?
David goes on to say that he thinks back over better days, and remembers when he was happy. Now he feels deserted by God, completely cast off, and wonders if God is so angry with him that He has withdrawn His grace and mercy. Is that us? You?
But as David reflected, he began to make a choice to praise, rather than despair! He decided to consciously recall the great and mighty things God had done in his past, and in eternity past, as well. He retreated from the depression and began to list the goodness of God, and the great things He has done!
That is not easy when your soul feels as though you would rather cease living. It takes inner strength to make the choice to praise. God will give you that strength if you begin to reflect on His character, His attributes, His longsuffering, and His love!
The choice is never easy. Pilgrim, in Pilgrim’s Progress, fell into a Slough of Despond. He wallowed, but he got out. We may have a broken heart for some reason, but let’s make the choice to give it to God, the healer of broken hearts. Don’t try on your own–He’s as near as you will let Him come!
Father, thank You for Your wondrous love. Thank You for Your promise that You will never leave us, nor forsake us. You tell us to draw near to You–THEN You will draw near to us. Help us make that a conscious choice! Amen