I Will Counsel You

July 19, 2021
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Saviour While My Heart Is Tender"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 32:6-8 – Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them. You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. (NRSV)

Lucy has her own profession in the Peanuts comic strip: psychiatrist.

Lucy has put out her shingle — "Psychiatric Help 5¢". Charlie Brown shows up at her makeshift booth and pours out his "deep feelings of depression". Lucy's quick reply, "Snap out of it! Five cents, please."

I don't think that Charlie Brown received his money's worth out of Lucy's answer, and I'm sure that many of us feel the same way about much of the advice that we are getting, especially in this age of pandemic and unrest. People are really experiencing isolation and abandonment, hopelessness and despair, anguish and fear, and depression — deep depression rooted in life's real circumstances. A quick "Snap out of it!" isn't going to be of much help to people who are really suffering depression, burnout, and PTSD.

So, where do they turn for the help that they need? Hopefully to a more sympathetic ear than Lucy provided. Or, better yet, to the poetry of the psalmists, where refuge and strength can be had, a way forward found when walking through the valley of shadows and death, and real answers found to our cry of forsakenness and abandonment.

Friends, it really is a time of distress, and our response in such a time as this is clear: "let all who are faithful offer prayer". In this intimate sharing of our deepest selves, we receive what we need most: "I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you."

There are many people like Charlie Brown and Lucy out there right now who would appreciate a bit of direction and compassionate listening. We may not be ready to put out our shingle and advertise our "psychiatric help", but as friends and followers of Jesus the Christ, we still have our part to play. Whatever the day may hold for us, remember Who holds the day and Who holds us!

Prayer: "Lord, I need to keep things in perspective. I get so engrossed in my own ups and downs that I forget that You hold the whole world in Your hands. Fill my heart with a daring and dangerous hope." Amen. – Anna Bedford

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About the author:

Kenn Stright <kennethstright@yahoo.ca>
West Petpeswick, Nova Scotia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    So true, Kenn.


    Thank you for today’s message.


    Really helps me today, Kenn! In many ways.


    Good one. Hard to beat Peanuts. Thank you.


    Thank you ever so much for a very timely message!
    (NS)


    Good words Kenn, we can all relate to that to some extent, I’m sure.
    Blessings.


    Thank you, Kenn, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.


    Thank you, Kenn, so much for your inspiring Devotional! It is just what I needed today. I shall reread it.
    It has been a blessing.


    Good morning Kenn. Thanks for this devotional so fitting for what is happening now, actually at any time I feel, may we all have a listening ear.
    Blessings.


    HI Kenn,
    What a timely and very well written devotion. Thank you so much!
    I love the Peanuts cartoon series and the way that Charles Shultz captured the foibles of humanity in simple line drawings and profound text.


    Hi Kenn,
    Thanks for today’s devotional. In our excitement to get ‘out’ and back to normal, I think it is easy to miss people who are really struggling and need some support. Thanks for the reminder. Have a good summer.


    Hi Kenn,
    Thank you for the reminder that we should turn to God, especially during the tough times, as He is our refuge and strength. As I read the last line, I also thought of the words of the song, “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow”. THANKS!
    Blessings.


    Hello Kenn,
    Thanks for your very mindful devotional today. It is truly a time when we need to reach out to others with care and compassion as so many are suffering from the isolation during the pandemic restrictions along with the other overwhelming happenings of forest fires in some areas and extreme floods in other places. Prayers are needed for the situations in all parts of the world these days and we must be patient, knowing the Lord’s timing and action are the best results. Blessings for the writings you submit.


    Kenn,
    Thank you for this devotional. We live in a rural area which means we are much less restricted in our movements than if we lived in the city. Our children and grandchildren, however, live in a very large metropolitan area. They have seen the isolation, depression, etc., in others and in their families. Fortunately, they have a Christian belief system… thank God.
    Many thanks for your writings.
    (Texas)


    Trust God more, read my Bible more, I wouldn’t be so depressed.”
    Depressed people must reach out for help: counselling and medical. Caring friends are great too, if you have any, but paid counsellors are more… well, you don’t need to worry as much about the friendship. When I finally realized I wasn’t getting better and I got help, life got better surprisingly quickly. I do keenly remember those hopeless three weeks of defeat when I had just started the medication and it hadn’t kicked in yet. I was helped by friends, paid counsellors, a compassionate doctor, and half a pill a day. And yes, continued prayer and Bible reading. Life is good.


    Good Morning Kenn,
    I like you interesting example from the Peanuts comics about how not to treat someone who is reaching out. Thank you for the reminder to listen to God and pray and be aware of how I can reach out and maybe make a different in someone’s life. I know just having someone listen to you say something out loud often gives the person a good feeling inside.
    Knowing someone is truly listening helps.
    God is amazing when he nudges me to reach out and know that it helps the other person, but it also helps me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    Many blessings.


    Good morning, Kenn,
    The Lord gave us a good surprise last night with thunder, lightning, and good real rain.
    I want to thank you for your words for me today. I am almost 97 and finally handed my car keys over as I knew the time had come. I was always an excellent driver and never involved in accidents, but still have to think of others. I have shed no tears or felt heavy-hearted, but it wasn’t easy either. Now I depend on family. Isn’t it great to know Who is in charge of all things.
    We don’t have to give up, just keep the JOY in our lives, and share. God bless you Kenn, in all you do.
    (So. California)


    Kenn,
    Thank you for this insightful devotional. I have to pray that I will listen well.

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