September 15 I Wednesday
2 Corinthians 8
“How long, LORD? Will You forget me for ever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?” —Psalm 13:1-2
During this pandemic, I found myself tired, not wanting to get out of bed, anxious and frustrated. At the peak of the pandemic, some statistics revealed about 70% of children and youth that reported deteriorating mental health from the impact of COVID-19. University students reported higher rates of depression and anxiety. Over 44% of parents with children under the age of 18 who live at home have also reported deteriorating mental health. This led to an increase in alcohol consumption, suicidal thoughts and domestic violence.
Although we all carry our stress differently, our body does keep score of the stress we are feeling. For some of us, we may have had increased physical ailments, strained muscles, hair loss or even teeth grinding. While sadness, anxiety, chronic fatigue and depression are the results of a global pandemic that is wearing us down, I want to give a word of encouragement: it’s okay not to be okay. The Scripture makes space for us to share our depression, our sadness and our anxious thoughts with God.
In Psalm 13:1-2, David cried, “How long, LORD? Will You forget me for ever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” How many of us have uttered those same words over the past year? Crying out to God asking, “How long is this going to last? Do You see us? Do you see the pain we are experiencing?” Psalm 13 is like a psalm written during a global pandemic.
As we reread the psalm, did we notice that David’s lament is directed in three distinct directions—upward, inward and outward? Upward, as he looked to God for a response, but received silence from heaven. David then looked inward and wrestled with his own thoughts, stuck in his own anxious thought patterns. And outwards, as David turned to his enemies. It is interesting to note that David did not call God to pour out His wrath upon his enemies or to crush them, which most psalmists typically do. This suggests to us that David was facing an inner spiritual battle that could only find its resolution with God.
In his exhaustion, overwhelmingness and depression, David went to the Lord. This encourages us that not only is it okay to be weary or downcast, but we can also go to the Lord and pour out our heart, as He makes space for our sorrow. Is there anything about our life today that we want to honestly confide to the Lord?
Prayer: Compassionate and loving God, my thoughts are many. Thank You that I can come before You and pour out my true and honest heart.