Lately even my quiet times have been filled with turmoil. We've had some stress, which is largely resolved now. Usually I can trust God with my circumstances. I know He is in control and I can rest in that.
However, my depression has come roaring back. It's wedged a wide gap between what I know and what I feel. I know that God is here with me, and I remember His promises. Yet I don't sense His presence. My stomach is doing backflips and I feel like doing nothing more than curling up in a corner and crying. (I haven't given in to that because wallowing in the misery has never helped at all.)
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Yesterday was an especially rough day. I tried everything that has ever helped open up the dark clouds. I prayed, I read psalms, I read fiction, I rested, I listened to good music. None of that helped. Finally, when it was time to start making dinner, I asked my son to stream some good music. He found a station that played mostly worship music. Singing along with the music and keeping my focus on the Lord, I felt the waves diminish. They didn't completely go away, but the improvement was dramatic. God is so merciful.
Later I thought back to Psalm 77, which I'd read earlier. It starts with this (v. 1-2):
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 I would not be comforted.
Then it transitions to this (v. 10-12):
What a beautiful example of relying on what we know rather than what we feel.
Emotions are not trustworthy, especially when they shift with the direction of the wind. I know this, even though my brain chemistry or whatever is telling me that something is terribly wrong.
Reminding myself that circumstances are fine doesn't help. Reminding myself that Jesus is walking alongside me ... well, it doesn't always help when I can't sense His presence at all. I have no peace. I feel battered.
(from "Whom Shall I Fear," as recorded by Chris Tomlin)