In the Land of the Living

My devotions took me to Psalm 27 today… A Psalm that David wrote…

Now he definately had some big issues he dealt with throughout his life…

His family considered him unworthy (not even thought of to be the next King of Israel by his family… Samuel had to ask if there was anyone else) and a pest (read about his brother’s comments when he was sent by his father to the (non) battle with Goliath)…

His predecessor King, Saul, tried many times to kill him…

He suffered from depression…

He was a murderer…

His son sought to kill him…

He wasn’t the greatest dad… (See above)

Yet here in Psalm 27 verse 1 he states: “The Lord is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?”

Verse 4: “the one thing I ask of the Lord – the thing that I seek most – is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.”

With mental health we often want to isolate, get away from the stressors, just pretend but there’s no world of there we have to deal with…

In verse 4 David is basically doing the same thing, isolating but in God’s care…

When we feel overwhelmed, anxious, in dealing with the world or with life in general – the standard coping mechanism is to find a distraction… Whether it’s go for a walk, binge TV, artwork, gardening, anything that takes us off focus of anxiety…

As I’ve walked through my journey with mental health issues, the one thing, the only real thing that has truly helped is God…

Verse 5 talks about how God will hide him and conceal him and his sanctuary… Isn’t that what we really, really need? Comfort from God?

Verse 6 talks about being able to hold his head high above the enemies who surround him… Yes it’s true, we don’t have Saul beating at the door trying to kill us but we do have the enemy knocking at the door of our brain and of our heart… And make no mistake, Satan is trying to kill us or put us out in left field where are we are not participating in God’s Kingdom here on Earth…

verse 11 says “Teach me how to live, oh Lord, lead me along the right path, for my enemies are waiting for me.”

It’s the how to live that caught my attention… Isn’t that really what we’re after? How to live? Really live? To live beyond our mental health issues…

Verse 14 “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”

The status of having mental health issues isn’t like the flu that one day you are fine and the next day you are ill and a couple of days later everything is back to normal…

Mental health for some people might be for only a few weeks or months… For others it will be something to keep a check on for the rest of our lives…

So where verse 14 talks about patience, realize that it often the hardest thing to do is to wait…

But let’s back up to verse 13 where David says “Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.”

Let’s stay in the land of the living… And not just “live” but THRIVE

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