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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Why So Downcast, Oh My Soul?

How faithful is God! and how fickle is man!

Even as I know that I am powerless, that my arms are too short to save, I still trust in my plans. I still trust in the emissaries that I send out, and when they fall short, I lament. I think, "Oh, what will happen now! What can I do now!" Thank God that as I became discouraged, my desire, the pull of my heart was to God. "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?" (Ps.42) When I went to my room and fell on my knees, I could reveal my discouragement to my Father, and amidst the unexpected tears, this Psalm came to mind:

Psalm 42:
5 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 6 my God.
My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

8 By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?"

10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"

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.

And so, I again entrust my soul to God. I again realize that I must in obedience witness to His truth, His holiness, and His judgement and great mercy; while realizing that the result is in His mighty hand. I again realize that God does not punch my timeclock, or strive to reach my quota. I am His handmaiden, His watchman. I am His slave, not He mine.

The hearts of men, women and children are in His hand, not mine. These hearts are out of my reach, and yet, God puts them in my path and commands me to touch them. They are a field I walk among, and, not revealing what lies beneath, He commands me to sow the seed, and sometimes, to walk away. Did the seed grow? Did it rot and fertilize the weeds? Did anything happen at all? I must sow in obedience, knowing that sometimes, I will never, in this flesh, know. God knows that this obedience is for the seasoning of His servant, and He may also use this work to produce His fruit.

His ways are much higher than mine, but His word will not go forth without accomplishing that which He desires.

Sow the seed, servant, because your Master commands it.

Psalm 73
21 When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,

22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.

23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.

24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

27 Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.

28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.



rebeccaness said...

Your blog, and specifically this post, struck a chord in my heart and has ministered greatly to me on this very wearisome night. I needed to be reminded of those psalms, and the words you wrote were very encouraging and truthful.

I found this googling "why so downcast oh my soul?", and I'm most glad I did.

- Becca

Anonymous said...

Thank you. This is the encouragement I needed, and the reminder of God's sufficient grace and power.

Kia Ora Shelli said...

Amazing! I was searching for this verse for a friend and came across your blog. Thank you for sharing, blessings to you!

Anonymous said...

I was greatly troubled by an event that happened today at work, downcast that's the right word to use for how I felt, but I am so grateful for this post. It is very encouraging. God bless.