“As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
while they say to me all the day long, "Where is your God?"
These things I remember, as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise,
a multitude keeping festival.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God, my rock:
"Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?"
As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long,
"Where is your God?"
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God;
for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”
Psalms 42:1-11 ESV
This year has been tough, not only on me but on a multitude of those close to me. Over and over I find myself wondering, “how can there be another thing that has gone wrong?” I too find myself, like David, asking why I am so down cast. Why is my soul so disturbed? A close friend of mine reminded me that spiritual warfare is a root cause for the things that have been plaguing myself and others. The fight we face is not of flesh and blood but is spiritual and it takes spiritual weapons to conquer.
This is why Jesus promising us the Holy Spirit was crucial. The Holy Spirit within us mingles with our faith and is able to use that in the warfare we face from the spiritual world. This is why Paul calls us in Ephesians 6 to “Put on the whole armor of God” (Eph 6:11), so that we may be protected against the attacks that have been promised because of the sinful world we are part of. With the armor of God, we are able to live in the world but live apart from this world as Jesus foretold. With the armor of God, we can withstand the arrows that pierce our weakest parts—because His strength endures when ours fails!
And here in lies the difference between us and David. We have seen the coming promise of the Messiah, we know the one who stands in the gap so that we might be in right relationship with the Father. David waited his whole earthly life and never got to see that promise fulfilled. David had to trust God’s plan for a king, for a conqueror to come to us. Trusting God’s plan takes endurance, faith, and hope. However, sometimes we lack one or all of those things. Fear not Christian, we are in good company. Although we might find ourselves in a desert season, remember David and how he was called a man after God’s own heart. Even in the trial, even in the hurt, even in the doubt. You are still a child after God’s heart, and He will work these trials out for your good.
I pray that we would all remember that even when we are in the seasons that seem dry as a desert, God can still grow things from that. I pray that we would remember that sorrow is not an unforgivable act and that God still loves us when we are emotionally and spiritually wrecked. I hope that as we close out this year and decade, we would remember that it might be a new time of life but we still serve the same mighty and awesome God. I pray we all take up your armor, oh God, and remember that the victory is already won. In Jesus name, amen.