A Personal Struggle

Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Listen while you read: "Kum Ba Yah My Lord"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 42:1 – As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. (NIV)

She never told us why, but Psalm 42 was my mother's favourite psalm. For such a seemingly happy and faithful woman, I found that to be a strange choice. It was written by someone who was searching for a relationship with God, someone who was desperate to find Him.

However, one day not long ago, I heard a sermon on YouTube. The minister said that he had gone through a period in his life when he was really struggling, and when he thought about Psalm 42, it gave him comfort. I think that the same may have happened to my mother.

Some years ago, a cousin told me that my mother had been in love with a cousin. They were young, and they wanted to get married, but my mother was raised in a very strict Christian family, and back then, one hundred years ago, cousins did not marry. So, they broke up, and she quit her job and went home to stay with her parents. She was 26 years old and very distraught.

While staying there, she met a man who had been married and had a seven-year-old daughter, but again, marrying a divorced man was out of the question. Her parents were against it, and she may have had some anguish over it herself, but nevertheless, they were married in 1931.

I'm sure that she had a lot of personal struggles when her life changed so suddenly. She had been living in a big city; now, she was in her husband's house in a semi-rural area with an instant family. Those were also the depression years, and things were tough. She may not have adjusted to her new life quickly. In retrospect, it may have been a very great personal struggle for her.

But she knew her Bible well, and she must have received a lot of comfort from this psalm. She could relate to the writer, and thus, it became her favourite.

Psalm 42:11 – Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. (NIV)

Those words would have given her a new outlook on life, along with contentment and peace.

There may also be some of us who are struggling with a personal situation. There may be times when we, too, wonder what makes us so unhappy. At such times, it is good to remember to put our hope in God.

Isaiah 41:13 – For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, "Fear not, I will help you." (NKJV)

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we know that during the difficult times in our lives, You are with us, and we thank You, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    With my thanks.

    Comforting words, Joel.

    Enjoyed your message today.

    A very personal story Joel. Blessings for sharing.

    Thanks for this devotional. Wishing God’s blessing to you both.

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us today. To God be the glory! Blessings.

    Yet Queen Victoria married her first cousin and apparently that was allowed…
    I am glad your mother found peace. Thank-you for sharing this.

    Good Morning,
    Thank you for this morning’s devotion. It is exactly what I needed.
    Have a lovely day. Stay cool.
    Thank you.

    Amen Joel. This is a Psalm that brought me great comfort for many years when l too was caught in a very difficult situation.
    Enjoy your day.

    Thank you for sharing another devotional and the story of your mother. Psalm 42 was a favorite of our family, and I can hear my father and uncle singing it in Dutch, and it is the only Psalm that I can sing from memory in Dutch. Thanks again for your faithful writing.

    Good morning, Joel,
    Thank you so much for telling us about your mother’s life and about her favourite verse. At the moment I am downcast because of an autistic 13-year-old relative who is having severe difficulties at home, at school, and with life in general. I will pray that verse and that psalm for all involved.

    Thanks, Joel, for another of your very interesting and meaningful devotionals. I can relate to how your Mom clung to a scripture reading that had a special meaning to her. Many years ago when I had injuries from a severe accident, Philippians 13:4 became my verse and it still is today. The Lord’s words can definitely give us much reassurance in daily living.
    Blessings for these writings you prepare.

    Good morning, Joel,
    It was interesting your thoughts about your mom’s life before you were born and maybe why Psalm 42 was her favourite one. I think we all go through periods in our life when Psalm 42 will comfort us. I know I have and didn’t even know why I was unhappy. Those times pass and life looks brighter again. God walks with me during those times. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about your mom. Blessings.

    HI Joel,
    I have just read the devotional about your mother. It has caused me to reflect that in my life there have been some troubles but really nothing so difficult that I could think of writing a devotional about it. We do have an adopted granddaughter who has Asperger’s. After two years working at a pizza restaurant she has realized there could be more to her life and she just finished her first semester in college. At any rate, your mother’s story has caused me to reflect again on my life.
    Thank you for writing, Joel. Your devotionals are always special.

    Thank you, Joel, for such a comforting devotional. Blessings to you.

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