Tuesday, October 19, 2010


For a long time, Psalm 42 has been my favorite psalm. In a way, this seems odd, because there are definitely parts of it that have yet to apply to my own actual life experience. The odd part is that I'm pretty sure more of it applies than did when I first decided it was my favorite. Oh wait! I just realized that more applies than I thought! While I was writing this . . . I'm not kidding.

I don't necessarily want to get into details about why I love different parts of it or what they mean to me in my life. I think that the main point of why the psalm is so important to me is . . . well, we all have negative feelings, right? Sadness, bad moods, days we got out of bed on the wrong side, a day somebody broke up with you, a day you got bad news, a time of your life when it seems like things are ganging up on you, trying to get you to do nothing but sit around and think about all the worst things that have ever happened to you.

In other words, bad feelings happen. Nobody's happy all time. The question remains, what do you do when you're down in the dumps? Do you deny it and pretend, stuffing it all inside you to deal with later? Do you sit around and mope? Or do you ask yourself the vital question:

"Why are you in despair, O my soul?"

Which is followed by the best advice ever: "Hope in God"

The person speaking in this psalm is not pretending that everything is puppies and sunshine and he hasn't got a care in the world. He's also not giving up. He's pouring out his soul to God, reminding himself of God's goodness and faithfulness, and he's reminding himsef of something very important that I still forget as many times as I have read the verses: the thing he's really hungry and thirsty and longing and empty for is God and God alone.

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