Saturday, July 06, 2013

Waiting expectantly

I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord; and he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up out of a horrible pit [a pit of tumult and of destruction], out of the miry    clay (froth and slime),
and set my feet upon a rock, steadying my steps and establishing my goings.
                                                                                           Psalm 41:1-2 (Amplified Version)
It's Saturday morning as I write this. I haven't been doing well - overwhelmed with the many things I need to do. As a result I've had feelings of wanting to disappear - to just bail out of life for a while. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a death wish. I just wish for peace and not so many commitments. Tomorrow we are hosting a family barbecue for thirty to forty people. And just over a week later, we are off on a three week trip to Greece. We will travel for about 17 hours to get there. Even my holiday to Greece seems like a commitment. I would just as soon stay home and hibernate on our patio with a good book. I would just as soon stay home and write letters to you. I'm feeling on the verge of depression - unable to do the things I need to do.
But I know I need to climb out of this. I know I need to try and do what I can. Though I would just like to rest and spend quiet time, close to God, I can't escape the world. To withdraw will only sink me deeper into the "pit" that David talks about.
This morning I searched my Bible, looking for Scripture I could hang onto. I looked at verses talking about strength and trust. But they did not speak to me as they usually do; they were like cardboard - not alive.
I wrote to a couple of friends, just to express what was going on. To cry out to them, as I had been crying out to God. One of them asked what I would say to another friend who I often support when she is depressed. And I realize that what I would suggest is that she make a list - even if it's only two or three items long. Things she could try to accomplish that day. I've done that myself now. I will clean up the kitchen and, though it's not urgent, put away some laundry that's been sitting for a while. For fun, my husband and I are going out for dinner with some old friends tonight. I don't have to cook!! Some chores and some fun. That's the way to organize when life becomes a challenge. I will also putter, working on some things for tomorrow. Little things - tear up the lettuce, wash the tomatoes, put the long table outside.
...and writing to you - sharing with you is always a joy. By helping you I help myself. I hope hearing my story and how I'm learning to cope does help you somehow.
I turned back to my Bible and thought of an old stand-by for me - Psalm 40. I've always known that the tough thing is to be "patient" while waiting for God to lift us out of the "miry clay." But if we wait "expectantly" that makes all the difference, doesn't it? It makes the patience a little easier to bear. Waiting expectantly means that we're trusting that He is there as we go through our stuff. Crying out to Him as we need to, knowing that He is hearing us.
God has spoken through my friend who reminded me of some of the things I could do. He is - little by little - "steadying my steps" and helping me with what I should be doing. He is setting my feet upon a rock. I pray that God will continue to remind me to wait "expectantly" while puttering at what I can, trusting that He's in charge.
I pray, that if you're suffering from depression right now, this message would have been a source of encouragement for you. God always does lift us out of the "horrible pit." And He is always there, even though you may at times have to wait to feel His presence.
Now I'm going to have a sandwich, then clean up the kitchen.
I just looked outside. It's a beautiful, sunny day.

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