Choose to Hope in God
“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 42:11 (niv)
I am generally an optimistic person. But a few years ago, I went through a season of melancholy. My marriage of fifteen years still wasn't easy—and I was realizing it would always require hard work. My kids were in junior high—and handling it well, but still, it’s a tough age. My career felt, if not derailed, at least on an unproductive tangent. Life felt difficult.
I would stand at the stove—cooking dinner and listening to Norah Jones after a long day of work—and cry. It made no sense to me. I would ask myself, why am I so sad? I would pray, but feel guilty thinking I ought to be more joyful. I remember finally calling a counselor, and trying to explain my uncharacteristic melancholy, and again bursting into tears. “I just need a little help,” I said.
The psalmist, in heartbreaking honesty, asks what most people ask at some time in their life: Why am I so sad? Then again, why not? Sometimes we are overwhelmed and sad, not because of our marriage, our kids, our career—but simply because we are.
Sometimes we need to talk it out, to come up with a new strategy, one that will allow us to redirect our hope. If we put our hope in our spouse, kids or career to make us happy, we’ll be downcast and disturbed. When we choose to hope in God, when we decide to praise our Savior, our faith grows. Jesus fills the empty space, and lifts us up.
Written by Keri Wyatt Kent
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