“Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me” (Psalm 50:15).
Some days all we can do is cry out to the Lord for help. None of us are heroes. We are all broken and getting put back together the right way by the living God. My prison book is nearly finished and I have been going through my prison diary, the one I kept while in prison. I was just skimming through to see if I've left out any juicy prison news for the book.
For most of the time in prison, I was too busy to get down or depressed, but there were days when all I could do cry out to the Lord for help. I was flat and found it difficult to raise myself. But I had that much work on I had to keep going, to press on.
Many of us have been, or are now, in that situation. We don't have to be imprisoned to need the Lord that badly. We can be in our kitchen, on the way to work, or just going through our daily routines. At times, we just want to put the big 'T' up and say TIME OUT! To use a prison term, we just want to escape. But we know that's impossible because we are needed right here and now.
Part of living for Christ is going through the up and downs of life. Sometimes the downs are so powerful all we can do is hang on by our fingertips in hope of a better day later or tomorrow. It might feel like you are being tossed around in an ocean of depressing thoughts, soon to drown. You look around and cannot see any hope coming from any direction.
Crying out to the Lord may seem weak to some. We might feel like we are letting the Lord down, or we're second-rate believers. What we are is very genuine. We read books or listen to successful preachers and wonder why they don't seem to go through what we do. I will guarantee that every genuine one has fought the same fights you and I have with our mind and emotions.
So how do we raise ourselves up off our emotional deathbed and get through the day?
Besides praising our way through it, we have to get to the origin of those thoughts. Sometimes the cause of that overwhelming feeling is as simple as putting a plan together for the day or week and organising our mind and activities. Once the priorities have been set, we feel in control again and the depression leaves as quickly as it came. Other times, we've been lax and haven't put on the armour of the Lord before heading into the day, as it says to do in Ephesians 6:11-18. Then again, we may be just thinking of ourselves a bit too much and need to put Christ back in the centre of our lives instead of off to the side. However, it may also be a case of us being in that much pain we can only cry out in our minds. We can barely move out lips. Tears would flow from our eyes but agony comes when they do.
Satan doesn't want us to define our thoughts, because he knows that when we do, we will begin to remove the black cloud. Neither does he want us to stop thinking about ourselves. He knows that when we reset our focus on Christ and less on us, we find ourselves taking the steering wheel back from Satan.
As followers of the Lord, every cry for help is heard. “The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17). This is why our despondency should be time-limited. The Lord is not ignorant of our troubles. He sees everything. But there are experiences we need to get through which build us up for future spiritual warfare. In the end, we are called to be overcomers, and often find we are more resilient, more robust, and more faithful than we think.
Jeremiah 33:3 states “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Next time you are down, remember you are not defeated and the LOrd is far from finished with you. Show faith and patience and the Lord will rescue you, putting you back on your feet and getting you refocussed on His work.
King David, when he cried out to the Lord, shared about God's ability to turn the odds around. “When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me” (Psalm 56:9).
We have God's work to do, much work, so let's allow the Lord to do His work on us after we have cried out to Him.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the many times you have rescued me from my own thoughts and put me back up on my feet. Please help me not to fear to cry out to you, my rescuer. Photo by Zach Lezniewicz