Down again. As a matter of fact, the majority of the time that I talk with people, lately, I get down. Is it all of them or me? The common denominator is me.
“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.” Psalms 43:5
Precisely my question. Why am I so down when things are looking up. Why aren’t my feelings reflecting my faith? Oh glory to God, the rain stopped but I still have my umbrella up. I’ve been one of those people so in their heads that on a dreary, rainy day when the precipitation ceases I still have my umbrella over my head. Why do I have an umbrella in the first place? Well, it is raining and it is just what you do, especially when you do not want to damage a hairdo or arrive at your destination soggy.The melancholy feelings are my natural responses to negative circumstances that I once viewed without my faith goggles. The feelings act as an umbrella with holes in it, as they attempt to temporarily protect me from the situations.
How can I overcome these feelings? I could eat until I fall asleep, cry until my face burns, or take it out on an innocent bystander. To the contrary, once I acknowledge that my emotions are sewer-like, I can ask that reflective question. Although I am not aware of the exact lie, distortion, warped perception, or false belief that led to the feelings, I have the antidote regardless of the source of the poison. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. The verse depicts someone with a downcast spirit, yet they do not stay downcast, they resolve to praise God. My goal is to quickly transition from down spirit to radical praise, Again, down spirit/radical praise.
With complete childlike hope in God and praise on my lips, my spirit has no choice but to rise. Eventually, I realized, after the sun had been out awhile, that I could put my battered umbrella to rest. I was free to move my hands and not subconsciously focus on holding up something that wasn’t even truly a deterrent from the rain. My negative feelings are not emotional prophylactics, instead, they fuel the vicious cycle. As I open my mouth to praise and worship God, the Son comes out of me and the feelings subside. Even as I obediently write this blog, my feelings of shame- of depression, guilt- not feeling like everyone else dissipates, and all remains is a redeemed daughter enamored in God’s presence.