Psalms for the Journey
We all suffer from it from time to time. We give in to it when faced with troubled realities we would rather ignore. But by ignoring it and not asking for help it gets worse. What is it? Depression. We sit in our own self made “caves” of loathing life and forget that though the cave may not have a back or side door, we can certainly stand up or crawl, if we have to, on hands and knees right out the front door, guided by the Light of day. We must move toward the Light. We can defeat depression by calling out to God, the Light who is ready to guide us to higher ground thinking and living.
David’s depression is clearly stated in our next psalm for meditation and consideration. He is sitting in a cave, trying to allude his enemy, Saul. He feels trapped by the situation. “There’s not a soul who cares…” He feels friendless. He feels there is no way out, “no exit”. Then he cries out to Yahweh, “You’re my last chance, my only hope for life!” “Rescue me.” Then David promises to thank God and give him glory if we will bring him out of this challenging, trying time.
I have to ask myself this morning, do I “cave in” at the slightest hint of trouble. (Yes.) Do I allow people and circumstance to turn my head from the Light? (Sometimes.) Can I get up and just walk boldly to the front door and face whatever is bringing me down, knowing that God will protect me, fight for me and save me? Yes!
It is obvious that David was in danger and was depressed, feeling abandoned. But he did what God’s people must always do in times of crisis: he looked to the Lord for help. He knew very little about Saul and his plans, but he did know about Jehovah and His great promises, and because of his faith in these assurances, he triumphed over his feelings and his foes.
Psalm 142, The Message
A David Prayer—When He Was in the Cave
1-2 I cry out loudly to God,
loudly I plead with God for mercy.
I spill out all my complaints before him,
and spell out my troubles in detail:
3-7 “As I sink in despair, my spirit ebbing away,
you know how I’m feeling,
Know the danger I’m in,
the traps hidden in my path.
Look right, look left—
there’s not a soul who cares what happens!
I’m up against it, with no exit—
bereft, left alone.
I cry out, God, call out:
‘You’re my last chance, my only hope for life!’
Oh listen, please listen;
I’ve never been this low.
Rescue me from those who are hunting me down;
I’m no match for them.
Get me out of this dungeon
so I can thank you in public.
Your people will form a circle around me
and you’ll bring me showers of blessing!”
Where is our focus in times of crippling fear of unknown circumstances? David reminds us:
The Lord hears our prayers (vv. 1-2).
The Lord knows our circumstances (vv. 3-4).
The Lord meets our needs (vv. 5-7).
Don’t cave in! When we are not feeling so great, we must refocus on our great and mighty God. NOTHING is too hard for Him. Absolutely nothing. Remember Jesus had His own “cave” experience and look how that turned out for all of us! Jesus defeated death itself…for you and for me! With God, there is ALWAYS a way out!