One of my favorite summertime activities is to hike waterfalls in the mountains. It’s a calming and relaxing experience for me to walk in the woods, enveloped by massive trees rising out of the side of the mountain and observing the many treasures of God’s creation found along the path. On a hot, muggy day it’s so refreshing when you finally land upon that waterfall cascading down the side of the mountain. And when at the beach, I love to watch the waves crashing upon the shore as I sit gazing out over the ocean. It’s powerful, yet peaceful and calming.
Today’s verse speaks to us of waves and waterfalls, but metaphorically, of those circumstances in life that overwhelm us like rushing water. I pray it encourages your heart.
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. —Psalm 42:7
Read Psalm 42.
Have you ever found yourself asking some of the same questions this Psalmist poses?
- Why am I so depressed?
- Why all this turmoil within me?
- Where are you God?
- Why have you forgotten me?
- Why must I go about in sorrow?
I know I have. I been in that place where it felt as if the waves and waterfalls were rushing over me. But in the depths of darkness, God’s presence was there. The deepest parts of my heart and soul were exposed to the One who created me. Out of the depths I cried out to the Creator and He was there. He is there.
I love this psalm because it is real and transparent. I love how the author is in conversation with himself—you know that self-talk. We all do it! But it’s the perspective that we find in the psalm that is so helpful and healing to us. It begins with the opening verse and the psalmist’s declaration and acknowledgement of his need for God. He longs for, thirsts for, and craves God’s presence. Then follows all the questioning and confession of his depression and inner turmoil. Did you notice the repeated phrase found after the questioning?
Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God!
This is the key! God knows us intimately—our thoughts, feelings, desires and dreams. He created us. (Psalm 139). He implores us to pour out our hearts to Him because He is our refuge (Ps 62:8). But we must also KNOW who He is —His character, His nature and His ways. When we are grounded in the truth of who God is, we can come through the waves and breakers that wash over us and stand again. As someone who suffers from bouts of depression, I know how good this self-talk can be in my life. It’s how I process. It’s simply a conversation with God where I pour out my pain and rehearse His attributes. I love that the psalmist uses so many names and attributes of God in this psalm—He is the living God, my rock, my Savior, the LORD who is faithful love and the God of my life!
It is important that I am continually growing in my knowledge of who God is, on a daily basis by renewing my mind with the truth of His Word. THEN when the waves hit, and I feel as if I’m drowning underneath them, I’m ready and more prepared. I can pour out my heart and acknowledge my difficult situation, but with the resolve that I will still praise Him because He is my God, my rock, my Savior! This resolve comes as a result of my relationship with Jesus and all He has done for me. He has conquered and overcome it all, even death. He has given me a hope and an eternal future in God’s presence. Anything and all that happens this side of eternity is simply to make me more like Jesus and to reflect God’s glory—but with the knowledge that He is with me and He is for me. It’s this assurance that enables me to rise above the waters and roaring waves and say, I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God!
Do you need to know God as the living God, your Savior, your Rock, the One who is faithful love and the God of hope? Consider your current situation in light of who God is and praise Him. Your situation or circumstances may not change, but your perspective and attitude will and that changes everything! Spend some time reflecting on the verses from today and on the fact that God is the might and powerful.
It’s my prayer that through this series we will, “from the rising of the sun to its setting”, focus on our amazing God. We’ll take the Word for the day and think about it, ponder it, pray it and practice it. We’ll allow it to really SOAK into our hearts and lives. And then we’ll SHINE — boast, rave, praise and celebrate God’s presence in our lives, reflecting Jesus to those around us.
(I am grateful to my Mama, Suella Jones for her editing skills and writing gift in today’s introduction.)
©2014 Susan Cady, susancady.com