Are you the kind of person who buys something, then in excitement, puts it together without consulting the manufacturer’s manual? You realize that this speaks volumes about you, don’t you? The manufacturer’s manual is there to remind us that what we have purchased is not a mindless contraption! Someone sat, and thought, and took time to build! It reveals to us the mind, the processes, and the labor that went into creating the item. But of course, in the excitement of purchasing a new thing, we will be forgiven for forgetting the manufacturer.
How about when the item is old and we have been using it for years? Do we still remember the manufacturer when it’s broken? Frequently, our experience gets in the way! We think that simply because we have used this item for years we know all about it!
It is when the Psalmist Remember God in Psalm 42:8 that the note in his song begins to change. We will today begin to dissect his prayer and discourse with God. My hope is that we will see how genuine and heartfelt his prayer is before God.
- A Prayer to the God of my Life
Let me begin by observing that our thought begins in the middle of a verse. This is because verses sometimes do not go together with the biblical writer’s thoughts. Where this happens we must follow the thoughts and not the verses. In the middle of verse 8, the Psalmist begins to raise a prayer to God.
He simply shifts his address from his soul to his God. It is very important to do this in the mementos of depression. Depression forces us into a suffocating introspection! We breathe in so much that we forget to breathe out. In both Psalm 42 and 43, the Psalmist uses the personal pronouns, I, me, and my fifty-one times! That’s an average of three times in every verse! The problem of preoccupation with ourselves and our problems is the fuel of a depressed soul. Let’s turn to God in prayer!
I also want to point out that the Psalmist turns to God in a very personal way. He recognizes who God is to him in his depressed state. He calls him, “God of my life” and “ God, my rock.” It is in recognizing who God is that we are able to offload our burdens to Him insincerity. When He is God of our life and God, our rock; we will hide nothing from Him. There is salvation only in the personal call to God! Generalities will not help you when you are depressed you must call on God from a personal point of view. From the depth of your heart! From the height of your agony! Yet you must remember only He will deliver you from your troubles.
2. Why have you forgotten me?
Despite the personal nature of God, the Psalmist complains that God has forgotten him. I do not want you to forget that in verse 7, he complained about the intensity of his suffering as wave after a wave crushed him. He seems to have been long in his miserable situation. He seems to have gone on forgotten in his misery! That is why his first concern to God is why He has forgotten him. If only God was near then the troubles will be bearable!
The Psalmist echoes the cry of the disciples of Jesus in Mark 4:31-35. They were in the midst of a storm yet here was Jesus fast asleep! This forced their outburst to him, “Master don’t you care that we are perishing?” I am also reminded of Jesus at the cross in Matthew 27:46. His cry was, “my God, my God why have you forsaken me?”
There are moments in life where we seem forgotten as storm after the storm breaks its waves upon us. As we grasp for breath let us bring the complaint to God. It is when we call upon Him to remember us that we turn our battles over to him.
3. Why must I Go Mourning?
This seems like a question that the Psalmist should ask himself rather than God. But the genuineness of his prayer can be seen by his openness to God. He asks God why He allows the constant state of mourning to be his portion. He laments that he has not known peace because of the oppression, hurt, and taunts of his enemies. Sometimes we look on helplessly as people continue to persecute us relentlessly. We run out of breath trying to hide from them yet they oppress, hurt us and then turn around and taunt us, asking us,” where is your God?” I think it is wise that the Psalmist does not engage his taunters in a shouting match. He, rather, goes before God and tells Him about them! He asks God how long He will allow the situation to Go on.
People can be cruel! I always wonder how it felt for Jesus to see the very people he healed, preached to, and care for at great personal cost, turn around to betray, disown, persecute and taunt Him. I wonder how it was at the cross as face after face came before him laughing and saying to Him, “where is your God?” I always wonder how it felt as the person crucified next to him, taunted him, asking Him if he was truly the son of God. But then, I don’t have to wonder! It is very clear in my eyes, as I face difficulty and people are present to make it even worse!
Allow me to remind you of three important things that will brighten the day of your depressing sky. First, remember to call on God. Shift focus from self to Him, Second, you are not forgotten! But In case you feel like you are, please take up the matter with God. He will fix it. Third, you will not go on mourning forever! There is God in heaven who sees your every struggle!