Psalm 116:8-11 – For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living. I believed; therefore I said, "I am greatly afflicted." And in my dismay I said, "All men are liars." (NIV)
A number of years ago, I had what many would call a "nervous breakdown".
An entire generation of my family had died over the course of that year. My job as a family counsellor for a local mental health agency had gone from being merely stressful, to being emotionally and physically damaging. I had just been diagnosed with a progressive hearing loss. I had two young, demanding children. Excessive duties at my church felt as though they were crushing me.
I lost it. I quit my job. I quit my church. I came entirely too close to quitting my family by wanting to die and thinking seriously about how to accomplish that goal.
I cried out to God, much like the psalmist, with my anguish, my self-hatred and my accusation against God for not protecting me while I served him.
He heard me. Close friends from the church I'd left stayed in contact and prayed for me. God gave me a new church to attend. My husband kept me tethered to the joy of my family. A wonderful counsellor helped me understand what I was going through and what I needed to do to recover.
I made a promise to God when he gave me his Psalms as a comfort, that I would "fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people" (Psalm 116:18), and so I write this devotional as a "thank-offering" (verse 17).
God is here for us when we need him the most. His scripture is like a healing blanket that soothes us and keeps us close to him. It's okay to cry out and wonder where God is and why it feels as if he has forsaken us. David did it all the time. God is here. God is with you.
Psalm 116:1-2 – I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. (NIV)
Prayer: Precious, caring Father, hear our suffering. Hear our praise. Thank you for your love, and for your Son, and for your comforting and healing Spirit. In Christ's name. Amen.