Thursday, July 17, 2014

Trust His Heart #SpiritualWhitespace

Last week I wrote about the return of my depression, and how getting lost in God calmed that storm.  The calm was short-lived (although I'm happy to say that the last few days have been much better!).

I kept going back to Psalm 77, which is the one I mentioned last week.  I was leaving my Bible open to that page so I could find it as quickly as possible.  Then one of those times I happened to come across Psalm 69, which opens this way (v. 1-3):

Save me, O God,
    for the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in the miry depths,
    where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
    the floods engulf me.
I am worn out calling for help;
    my throat is parched.
My eyes fail,
    looking for my God.

The middle part of the psalm doesn't apply to me:  I am not surrounded by "those who seek to destroy me."  However, in verses 29-30 David writes,
But as for me, afflicted and in pain—
    may your salvation, God, protect me.

I will praise God’s name in song

    and glorify him with thanksgiving.
Over and over we see this pattern in the psalms:
"Life stinks ... but I will pray and praise God anyway, because I know He is good."
Recently my pastor preached on Psalm 73, which was written by Asaph.  Again, his specific problems are different from mine.  But I can still learn from his example.

Asaph starts (v. 1) by stating that God is good, but then (v. 2-14) he pours out his heart about how life stinks.  By verses 15-17 he recognizes that his attitude does not honor God.  Instead of looking at the Now, he takes a longer view.  He lists specific ways (v. 18-20) that the Lord helps with his problems.

What struck me, though, was the way he describes his frustration and anger in the past tense (v. 21-22):

When my heart was grieved
    and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant;

    I was a brute beast before you.

Verses 23-28 reaffirm what he knows about God.

My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever. (v. 26)

But as for me, it is good to be near God.
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;

    I will tell of all your deeds. (v. 28)

As I wrote last week, I often have a wide gap between what I feel and what I know.  I am continually trying to bridge that gap, but in the storms, I am often unsuccessful.  It's at those times that I most need to lean on what I know and set aside my emotions.  When I can immerse myself in the Lord, He is faithful to help me do that!

I often don't know why He allows me to go through certain trials.  But as someone has said, If you can't trace His hand, Trust His heart.

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