Spiritual Practice


Salina McGinniss, 22

Many of David’s psalms begin with despair. He’s suffering, and he can’t see a way out. Psalm 38:10 (NRSV) says:

       My heart throbs, my strength fails me;
       as for the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.

The psalms resonated with me during the dark depression that plagued my teenage years. The aching in my chest, the deadness in my eyes, the exhaustion—I was comforted to know that David, a man after God’s own heart, felt the same way.

More inspiring is David’s response to his pain. After he cries out to God, he seems to pause for breath and then to speak of God’s character and promises. David writes in Psalm 38:15 (NRSV):

       But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait;
       it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.

David recognizes that God would bring him through the trials he faced; he had only to wait patiently. As God carried David through times of despair, God brought me through the depression I faced. Now I can say in the words of Psalm 30:11 (NRSV):

       You have turned my mourning into dancing;
       you have taken off my sackcloth
       and clothed me with joy.

I am utterly bowed down and prostrate; all day long I go around mourning.
Psalm 38:6 (NRSV)

PRAY THE PSALMS: Let the psalms express your feelings and give you hope. Read aloud Psalm 38. Then read Psalm 42.

GO DEEPER  Practice praying the Psalms and writing your own.

—from devozine (November/December 2015). Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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