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Remembering in the Valley

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O my God, my soul is cast down within me;
Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan,
And from the heights of Hermon,
From the Hill Mizar.
Psalm 42:6 NKJV

It’s just really hard to be in a low place.

Do you know what I mean? It’s lonely. Vision is limited. Feelings are either overwhelmingly present or conspicuously absent.

Psalm 42 has been one of my go-to passages when I have been depressed. Verse 6 speaks so much to me, because the psalmist is being honest with God–the place that we all must start if we are to get out of the darkness.

O my God… It’s either a prayer or a groaning. Let your heart groan.

My soul is downcast within me… Sometimes it is so hard to just be honest with God about how crappy we feel. But there is no shame in being honest with Him. He can handle it. We have to be honest so that we can start a conversation that will change things within us.

Therefore I will remember You… Memory is a powerful tool against staying stuck in despair or depression. When we look back at the times in our lives that God has been faithful, the times when He has filled us with joy, the times we have seen Him provide, it grows our faith. The act of remembering sows seeds of hope. It’s what I call ‘prophetic memory.’

…from the land of the Jordan… The psalmist is talking about a valley, a low, low place. We have to remember Him in the deep, dark places. We have to start that honest conversation with God.

…And from the heights of Hermon, from the Hill Mizar… And I have to remember Him when things are good, when I’m on that mountain top and can see the beautiful goodness of God so clearly and profoundly. I have to write down or somehow record the good things I am seeing in the land of the living, so that when I next find myself in the valley, with no vision for my future because of the darkness pressing in, I can revisit them, remember them, take hope from the consistent kindness of the Lord.

Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
 The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me—
A prayer to the God of my life.

Psalm 42:7,8 NKJV

Know this: He has not forgotten you.

Peace to you in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Amanda


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