Focus: More of God
Psalm 42:11 (KJV) Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
During a long battle with depression, or a recurring battle, you ask yourself, ‘Why am I still going through this?’ Or, ‘Why am I going through this again?’ What is it about depression that is so hard to shake?
The word ‘depression’ indicates a ‘low spot’. A place of emptiness. A condition of lack. Have you ever given any thought as to whether the loneliness of depression could be related to the soul’s cry for more of God?
Psalm 42 was written by someone who was struggling with a very deep need. The writer begins by saying he is thirsty for God. It’s interesting he uses thirst as a comparison of his need for God.
Before we go any further, think about how water consumption is basic to human survival. We were created with a continual need for hydration. God made us that way. For basic health requirements, it’s recommended the average person should consume eight glasses of water a day.
Thirst is a recurring condition. So, the writer of Psalm 42 uses thirst to describe his need for consistent infilling—or more and more of God.
After the verse about thirst, the writer launches into a statement that essentially says, ‘When am I going to get to come to You? I am living through a veil of tears—not even desiring food. My loneliness and homesickness for You makes me a subject of mockery, as people ask me where my God is.’
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The Psalmist explains how even after going to a religious event—a celebration of joyful praise with many people—he is still ‘cast down’ with a depression that is actually loneliness for even more of God. The writer is clearly not thirsty for more religion—he craves more relationship with God.
He goes on to refer to some lofty mountain peaks and a vast fertile land—but states he is not satisfied by the most beautiful sights of earth—knowing the dwelling place of God to be far superior.
In verse seven, we see the phrase, ‘Deep calls unto deep’. Here, the writer is using the word ‘deep’ to describe the extent of his great capacity and desire for God. Yet, he acknowledges God as ‘deep’ in His ability and resources—which are compared to noisy waterspouts, waves, and billows. The writer knows God is capable of covering him with great and overwhelming springs of living water. He doesn’t use ‘still water’—which also can run deep—as a symbol of God’s ability to sustain him. He uses a wild and lively outpouring of water that is continually overflowing and unstoppable.
He continues, declaring his confidence that he would survive his present circumstances with the lovingkindness of the Lord in the daytime, the song of the Lord in the night, and his own prayer to the God he can’t live without.
His need for more of God is so great that even with these wonderful provisions of comfort from the Lord—he still feels as though he has been forgotten—compared to how much more of God he desires.
He goes around mourning because people who don’t have the kind of desire he has for God—are so heartless toward him. Even though he is consumed with a great love for the Lord, he lives with the daily assault of the enemy of his soul. He grows tired of the battle and his loneliness for more of God.
In spite of his sorrow and suffering, he commands his soul to have hope in God. He knows more of God is the only hope for him. He is sure God is the only One able to provide him with the nourishment he needs for his spiritual and physical health to be restored. He promises to continue praising God—now, and in the future—as the One who will transform his circumstances.
As you view your own situation of depression, consider whether it might actually be a loneliness for more of the Lord. Think about your own ‘low spot’, emptiness, and lack. Is it something God can’t fill? Contemplate these things, and in your desperate moments when things appear hopeless—say, ‘Give me more, Lord. More of You. I thirst.’
Declaration: I will find new strength by viewing the condition of depression with a different attitude. I will see it as a need for more of God. I will take comfort in knowing the depth of the Lord’s love and resources is as deep as my need.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.