Satisfied in You

I mentioned last week about my struggles last year that resulted in me taking antidepressants. Though they improved my symptoms, I still struggled greatly for awhile. I would lie in bed at night plagued by negative thoughts. I felt angry and bitter and guilt and upset over feeling angry and bitter. It was a vicious cycle. One night sometime after I went to the doctor, I was lying in bed unable to sleep. I turned on Spotify and listened to the discover weekly playlist that had been compiled for me based on songs I had listened to. I was lying there not paying much attention to the music until one song came on.  Satisfied in You (Psalm 42) by The Sing Team struck me in ways I had never expected; I had never heard the song before. The lyrics shook me to the core:

I have lost my appetite
And a flood is welling up behind my eyes
So I eat the tears I cry
And if that were not enough
They know just the words to cut and tear and prod
When they ask me “Whereʼs your God?”

Why are you downcast, oh my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
I can remember when You showed Your face to me

As a deer pants for water, so my soul thirsts for You
And when I survey Your splendor, You so faithfully renew
Like a bed of rest for my fainting flesh

When Iʼm looking at the ground
Itʼs an inbred feedback loop that drags me down
So itʼs time to lift my brow
And remember better days
When I loved to worship You and learn Your ways
Singing sweetest songs of praise

Let my sighs give way to songs that sing about Your faithfulness
Let my pain reveal Your glory as my only real rest
Let my losses show me all I truly have is You

So when Iʼm drowning out at sea
And all Your breakers and Your waves crash down on me
Iʼll recall your safety scheme
Youʼre the one who made the waves
And Your Son went out to suffer in my place
And to show me that Iʼm safe

Why am I down?
Why so disturbed?
I am satisfied in You

From the first line, I was hooked. I listened to the cries of a broken soul. I listened to the hope that the broken soul found. I listened as I sighed and traded sorrow for peace.

•••

I still struggled. I still had bad nights. But I would listen to that song. I would read Psalm 42. It became my lifeline. I would ask myself the same question that psalmist did: “Why are you downcast, oh my soul?” God had been so faithful to me. These trials weren’t going to last forever. I stopped trying so hard. I stopped torturing myself with feelings of guilt. I simply gave in to the peace the Father was offering. I became satisfied in Him. Again and again.

•••

To this day that song makes me think about the first time I heard it, the night that it was a life raft for me. Ironically, with this post already being planned for this week, a few weeks ago our pastor spoke on Psalm 42. I again sat and reflected on God’s faithfulness. How I came out of that trial with more empathy and more hope than ever before.

When feelings from before try to creep their way back into my life, I remember the night that I said “no” to my downcast, disturbed soul, the night that I “lifted my brows and remembered better days,” the night that I allowed myself to become satisfied in Him and filled with His peace.

•••

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:5

Photo Credit: Gary Bendig

Psalm 100

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
  2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before Him with joyful songs.
  3 Know that the Lord is God.
    It is He who made us, and we are His;
    we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.

  4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving
    and His courts with praise;
    give thanks to Him and praise His name.
 5  For the Lord is good and His love endures forever;
    His faithfulness continues through all generations.”

Psalm 100

This short psalm tells us so much about how we should approach praising and worshipping the Lord.

  1. We should worship the Lord with joy in our hearts. Worship is not a solemn or somber occasion at all, we should be glad (verses 1,2)!
  2. We should acknowledge and marvel at who God is and what He’s done (verse 3,5).
  3. We should approach him with thanksgiving and praise – not just our needs (verse 4).

Worshipping God is more than singing to Him and praying, it’s a lifestyle. Let your life be one of worship. No matter the season, the problem, the struggle, remember that the Lord is indeed the Sovereign God, and approach Him with praise. The hard times won’t last forever, but the Lord will never stop loving you and being faithful to you, even when you aren’t necessarily feeling Him at the moment.

Photo Credit: Carsten Stalljohann

Being Still When Life is Anything But

As a full time student, I can say without a doubt that life can be absolutely hectic sometimes.  Between homework, papers, tests, trying to comprehend what the heck that concept means, babysitting, spending time with family and friends, and all the other things that is asking for my attention, it’s hard to feel like I have any peace or any time to just breathe.

This past weekend, Genelle and I babysat overnight. Sunday morning, after making breakfast and cleaning the kitchen, I sat down to read my Bible and to journal.  The kids were actually being decently quiet for the most part – which I appreciated – and I decided that after I read in Matthew to go ahead and read a Psalm as well.  After reading it, I knew God had me read extra that morning for a reason.

Psalm 46 begins with saying, “God is our shelter and our strength. When troubles seem near, God is nearer, and He’s ready to help. So why run and hide? No fear, no pacing, no biting fingernails.  When the earth spins out of control, we are sure and fearless. When mountains crumble and the waters run wild, we are sure and fearless. Even in heavy winds and huge waves, or as mountains shake, we are sure and fearless.” (verses 1-3).

As I read that, I thought of all the times recently that I’ve just been so stressed out that I felt like I was losing my mind.  School has been overwhelming, I babysat 5 out of 7 days last week, and I just felt like I had no time to just recharge.  Then I asked myself how many times during these past weeks when I felt overwhelmed have I ran to God? The answer is not very often.  When I’ve been overwhelmed or upset, I’ve just wallowed in my feelings rather than taking them to God. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Since God cares for you, let Him carry all your burdens and worries.”  God doesn’t expect or want us to feel like we have the weight of the world on our shoulders.  Philippians 4: 6-7 says, “Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray.  Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come. And know that the peace of God (a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding) will stand watch over your hearts and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One.”

I know these Scriptures, I know them well, but I haven’t let them resonate in my soul, they’ve stayed in my head, and that’s the problem.  The Word of God does us no good if we don’t let it pierce our souls and change us.

Back to Psalm 46 and another verse of Scripture that I know well.  Verse 10 says, “Be still, be calm, see, and understand that I am the True God.  I am honored among all the nations. I am honored over all the earth.”   When we really heed what this verse is saying, it is powerful.  When we think about the majesty of God, of all that He has done and all that He is, our problems seem smaller.  Not only that, if you are acknowledging who God is, you’re acknowledging the fact that He does not want you to do life on your own. The verse says to be still, not fret, worry, or try to do it on your own.  Acknowledge who God is, His mighty power and His mighty love for you, and be still.

No matter how busy the life of a college student – or anybody for that matter – can get, God is there, waiting for us to come to Him, and be still.

Photo Credit: Jenu Prasad