Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Blogging Psalm 6

Psalm 6

I had my first encounter with depression in college. It wasn't me personally, but I watched a good friend of mine suffer through some really hard times. The biggest problem I had was not watching her go through what she did, but seeing how the Christians around us were reacting. For a while, it was as if the thought that a Christian person could be sad was seen as a sin. In the dark times, when the quickly quipped "God loves you" and "Everything will work out in His plan" continually backed up this notion that negative feelings were against God.

When I see Psalm 6, I see a man desperately sad and crying out for relief. This has gone beyond sadness, to a despair that can only be described as depressed. David needs help. He knows he's going to get it, but that still doesn't stop his heart from breaking during the wait. The Message translation says that David's bed could float from the lake of tears he was crying. Obviously, this is a metaphor, but I had to stop and think about how much crying it would take to do something like that. Through all this, however, David still believed in God's deliverance.

The great 20th century theologian, Bono, put David's cries this way:

"'Where are you when we need you?' 'We're surrounded.' 'Your people are starving.' 'Are you deaf?' That type of thing. He'd be wailing, this militant mind, this poet musician with enough faith to believe he had a deal with God ... believed it enough to get angry when it looked like He wasn't coming through."
Jesus himself promised us that Christians would go through hard times. Are we supposed to just grin and bear it? Keep a stiff upper lip, as the British would say? I don't think so. Feeling sad is not a sin. When we feel negative thoughts, we can call out to him just like David did here and receive His answer. Through Jesus Christ, we can know that although we may be sad now, we can have a peace that He will comfort us with His rest.
Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 (NLT)
P.S. If you are reading this and you have been feeling sad for a long time, please see a licensed Christian Counselor and let him or her lead you on the path of God's recovery.

Bono quote taken from John Waters, Race of Angels (Belfast: The Blackstaff Press, 1994), 1.

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