The sun’s rays reach through the misty fog to warm the soft brown back of a white-tailed deer and her fawn amongst the towering trees. A light breeze whispers through the green boughs, the mossy and piney scents of the woods and fields add yet another layer of blissfulness to the scene. Standing poised beside quiet waters, she dips her head down towards the water brooks for cooling refreshment.
It’s a beautiful and peaceful, calming scene, isn’t it? It’s from Psalm 42. One of my favorite psalms. I love how poetic it reads in the KJV, but here are verses one and five in the NASV:
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God…Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence.”
You may recall in the story of Anne of Green Gables, that Anne was in “the depths of despair” when she was going to be sent back to the orphanage because she wasn’t a boy. Marilla stated she’d never been in “the depths of despair.” Her reasoning was that if you were in the depths of despair you had turned your back on God.
Oftentimes I do feel like I’m in the depths of despair, even though I remember the LORD is always there beside me. Do I feel guilty? I never feel like I’ve turned my back on God. We've been created to be emotional beings. All who trusted the LORD in the Bible went through tremendous sorrow of spirit. It’s normal.
But waves of grief and frustration over situations can continue to stress my soul. My mind focuses on problems. Sin is ever before me. I feel inadequate. I feel depressed in spirit. Will I see positive answers to prayers? What will the future hold for me? As in verse 7, “Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.”
Unless I continually cling to the LORD in my times of trouble – which could continue for days, weeks, months and years – I would certainly drown in despair. It’s knowing and reminding myself that God is ever-present with me and He will provide the strength to endure because I have that hope.
I encourage you to read Psalm 42. Have hope in the LORD today and have a blessed Sunday!