I have led a pretty blessed life. God has given me so much kindness and undeserved favour that I often find myself in speechless thanks for his gentle hand on my life.
It wasn’t until 2012 that I came up against overwhelming discouragement and despair. It seemed like my life was falling apart in many ways, professionally, relationally in the church and personally in my ability to manage. I felt the heavy hand of adversity on me and it has forever changed me. I was not just crying out to God for deliverance but was actually crying before God in my morning devotions. There was a period of time where I would find myself lying on the floor in my morning devotional time without words to say - silent in the overwhelming depression that threatened to swallow me. This psalm was one of the psalms that I latched onto for rescue.
What I loved about this psalm was my visceral connection with the psalmist. I truly felt the desperation of his cry in the first few verses - his desperation as he describes the spiritual impasse he is at.
The questions in verses 7-9 were my questions.
7 “Will the Lord spurn forever,
and never again be favorable?
8 Has his steadfast love ceased forever?
Are his promises at an end for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?”
The turning point for me was the target from verse 10 and action plan in verses 11-12. It gave me a lifeline to escape the overwhelming despair.
10 And I say, “It is my grief
that the right hand of the Most High has changed.”
11 I will call to mind the deeds of the LORD;
I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will meditate on all your work,
and muse on your mighty deeds.
I actively, and with great effort, turned the silence in my devotional time into the action plan here to reach the target of verse 10.
It was clear that the circumstances were not going to change but God’s promise here was to change my grief - which was a miracle in and of itself.
I started journaling and documenting all of the goodness, kindness and blessings that God lavished on me, both in the past and in the present. I then reviewed that daily.
It was a grind at first and felt like just so much work and meaningless words, but this pattern changed my life.
This is one of my go to strategies now, and a regular part of my devotional life. Sometimes it takes a greater focus and sometimes less, but God has faithfully “changed my grief” over and over again.
Do you find yourself in that state of abject despair? Claim this target and put the action plan into motion. God is faithful and he will change your grief!
3 Month Reading Plan - Psalm 73