It happens quickly.
It happens easily.
At least it does with me.
Depression and then despair.
It’s a quick slide from the first thoughts of discouragement to the pit of despair. It happens so quickly that it’s often a surprise to find we have come to utter despair and hopelessness. David battled this just as many of us do. He wrote about it in Psalm 40.
1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.
4 Blessed is the man
who makes the LORD his trust,
David described it well. The slide to despair feels like a slide on mud or wet clay. You can’t get your footing. Then suddenly you are in the pit of despair. Hopeless. Helpless. Alone….or so it seems. Although nothing may have changed in the real world you feel that your world has crumbled into ashes. It’s a difficult place to be. It’s a difficult place to get out of. Unless the Lord helps us we would most likely remain in the pit of despair. Some never get out. But God does help. He does give us the hand we need, the help we need. He does change our song from a dirge to a praise. He does lift us up. If you’re like me these slides to despair happen without warning….for no reason at all…and then you have to deal with the clouds of doom that fog your thoughts. The Psalms were David’s journals as he dealt with his own frequent descents into despair. Here are his directions for those of us in the pit today-
1 I will bless the LORD at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul will make its boast in the LORD;
The humble will hear it and rejoice.
3 O magnify the LORD with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces will never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him
And saved him out of all his troubles.
If you find yourself in the pit of despair look to the Lord. He will lift you out of the hopelessness. When it seems there’s no way out he will come to your rescue. The slide to despair is an easy one. The climb out is God’s work as we trust him. As one who frequently visits the pit I’m glad for a wonderful God who gives me hope and help when I need it most.
(Thank you, James, for your help this morning.)