**Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net. Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses. Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins. Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred. ** Psalm 25:15-19
Traps. Desolation. Affliction. Troubles. Distresses. Pain. Sins. Enemies. Hatred.
David is having a tough time of it. It is like he is singing the old spiritual hymn….Nobody knows the Trouble I’ve seen….He has a lot going on. He seems to feel overwhelmed, discouraged and ready to throw the towel in.
Have you ever had that kind of a day, week, or month, maybe even a year or two worth of pain and suffering?
I don’t always see everything as dark and hopeless. But there are times when problems just seem to accumulate. One thing happens after another. And it is a struggle to dig deep and find things to be thankful for. There is always something we can be thankful for, right?
When things get that bad, I start from the inside and work my way outside…..
Thank you that I can breathe, that my heart is beating, that I can hear, taste and smell….
Thank you for my family and that they are well. Thank you for being able to pay the bills. Thank you for a restored and happy marriage. Thank you for your safety and protection as we travel.
Then I am ready to go deeper….
Thank you for a week of problems. Thank you for the hassles that have accompanied them. Thank you for what I am learning about grace, and mercy and patience and contentment.
Thank you for your promise that after I have suffered awhile, you will make me perfect, established, strengthened and settled. (1Peter5)
Thank you that the trying of my faith works more patience in me. (James 1)
My problems don’t always change or get fixed after all that, but my spirit is lighter and I feel more prepared for the next problem. I don’t feel like I will get blind-sighted.
And sometimes, I think, problems come to me because I lose touch with a grateful heart. The problems are God’s little reminders to stay in a place of gratitude.
David always seems to get back to the right place. He ends his Psalm with ** for I put my trust in thee**. ** For I wait on thee**….and then he prays for someone else…Israel… and his responsibility to care for God’s people
David had plenty of problems and it took him some time to process them. But then he gets his eyes back on God, and how he can help others. Someone with bigger problems than his own.
Gratitude, faith, trust, prayer. They are all good ways out of the depths of despair.
Which one helps you the most when things are falling apart?