1 I love the Lord, because he has heard
my voice and my pleas for mercy.
2 Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”
5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
our God is merciful.
6 The Lord preserves the simple;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
7 Return, O my soul, to your rest;
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
8 For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling;
9 I will walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.
10 I believed, even when I spoke:
“I am greatly afflicted”;
11 I said in my alarm,
“All mankind are liars.”
12 What shall I render to the Lord
for all his benefits to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord,
14 I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints.
16 O Lord, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.
You have loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!
Even when I do not feel thankful, but thank the Lord anyway, He blesses me with gratitude.
Even when I hurt from sinfulness, yet praise the Lord anyway, He provides me with redemption.
Even when I stumble in darkness, but call on the Lord anyway, He lifts me up into the light.
God is always faithful, always patient, always loving. He never stops pursuing us.
Verse three of this chapter reminds me of the struggle of mental illness. I suffer from anxiety and know plenty of others with the same or similar issues such as depression, attention deficit disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and many more. The thing I would like to point out, however, is not that there are a plethora of sufferings in this world—we are all well aware of that. I want to share with you testimony of the bountiful provision of God in His amazing faithfulness to bring healing and comfort.
My whole life, I have dealt with excessive worrying and, on occasion, panic. Because of this, I always thought that I was just meant to be cautious and reserved while everyone else lived wild, enchanting lives. I didn’t necessarily want to live that way, though, because it was dangerous and unknown. When I was a sophomore in high school, I was officially diagnosed with anxiety. From this place, I learned about what life can be like without the burden of constant overanalyzing wracking my mind and body. Jesus provided me with three things that I will never forget.
- Himself – God sacrificed His Son, Jesus, on the cross so I could live a life of freedom. This will forever be where I place my hope.
- His children – The people around me that can offer support and guidance are a source of consistent joy. Friends and family who share in similar struggles or seek to understand and listen are beautiful treasures each and every day.
- Medicine – A lot of people will argue that God is sufficient for all ailments. This is true to a point. I believe that God gave us science and modern medicine so we could better take care of our physical bodies. Yes, there are ways to abuse these institutions, but I can say from firsthand experience that sometimes medication can be exactly what someone needs in order to get back to a sense of normalcy in life. If you ever want to talk more about this, feel free to let me know. I would love to tell you more about my testimony from struggle to healing and all the battles that still ensue over my mind.
Psalm 116 uniquely expresses this story of redemption through God’s faithfulness. In the very first verse, it shows that He hears our voices. Out of this place of knowing in our spirit that He hears us, we can call out to Him more. We don’t need muster up our own strength to call out to Him—the Holy Spirit helps by beckoning us into His presence. This is the true place of healing.
Verse 7 says, “Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” Whenever I read this, I am reminded of where I have come from, whether that be mental illness or my sinful nature, and how amazing God’s grace and love are—He is unfailing despite our failures.
So remember today that God is for you. He can be trusted with even the deepest, scariest parts of your heart and mind. He washes all the dirt away for you to live anew in His glorious presence. Continue to seek Him in the secret place where you can confidently know He listens to your cries and comforts you in your weakness.
“I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.” Psalm 116:13