Facing Our Challenges - Part 2

Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate. (Psalm 143:4)

When I read these words from Psalm 143, many feelings that bubble into my mind.  I am not sure whether I get more relief from the fact that someone has put my feelings into words or that someone else has felt this way, too.

It is particularly important to me that these words were written and addressed to God. It so contradicts the idea that we are not to express our true feelings about our illnesses – that we are to put on that “happy face” and pretend that everything is just fine.  

I don’t know if I have felt  David's sense of overwhelm, but I can tell you for sure that I have felt myself stretched to the very limit.  It has felt that my heart is desolate – bleak, dismal, empty.  Oh yes!  I read the words and think ‘Someone has been there before me.  Someone else knows what that feels like.’  For me, it’s important to know just that.  

What I like about this verse is the honesty and openness it portrays.  I get the sense of the Psalmist as saying, “God, I don’t know if I can take it any more.  I don’t know if I have anything left inside of me. I simply feel empty.”

If you have a chronic illness, you might be under the impression that we are not to express our feelings, that you are “complaining” and God doesn’t want that.  While I don’t believe we should get stuck in our feelings, I believe God wants us to come to him in exactly the same way the David did.

I realize how many times I run to everyone but God.

Have you felt overwhelmed, desolate, and empty?  God’s word shows us that our first step is to come to Him in prayer and then be completely honest about how we feel.  And we can find comfort in the fact that we are not the only ones to have these feelings – that we are in good company.  And as the rest of the Psalm will show us, the only way to go is up!  And God shows us how – step by step.

Father God,  Thank you for showing us that you are interested in our thoughts and in our feelings.  Thank you that we can be assured we will not be left overwhelmed and desolate, but that when those feelings overwhelm us, you’re desire is for us to come to You.  Amen and Amen. 

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