Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed. (Psalm 57:1)
Once again, I’ve found refuge in the LORD. This time a storm of depression hit due to my lengthy disabling condition and inability to return to work. I’ve been feeling sorry for myself, sensing my life lacks purpose and meaning. I’ve been struggling to write, opting instead to escape in a movie, episodes of crime thrillers or senseless sitcoms. When I turn them off, I feel overwhelmed as I see the storm within and wonder if it will ever let up.
But then I look around at the divine shelter that continually surrounds me –
My editor sends a caring e-mail after noticing my time off-line, asking if I’m okay.
A bookstore owner shares a success story of battling mental illness and offers me a free book.
A young friend shares his passion for music along the banks of the Ohio.
A family member wrestling with addiction takes a step forward in treatment.
Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I begin again to feel grateful. This time away from the pressure to perform pastoral work has freed me to express faith through my writing, to explore the Word in words, to connect with and encourage others in their spiritual journeys.
The mercy of the LORD is never-ending. It particularly comes in handy when we face storms in life. The refuge God provides keeps us moving forward from one state of grace to the next.