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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

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Depression can be deep and dark, coupled with the overwhelming feeling that escape is impossible. This touching psalm goes with us into the "dark night of the soul."

Psalm 130, "Out of the depths I cry unto you," goes far deeper into life's sorrows than a bout with the blues or a depressed feeling. For many folks, the pit is so deep and dark that they can't climb out. Those feelings of deep sorrow, grief, or profound sadness will assail all of us at one time or another.

Maybe that's why the author of this psalm doesn't ask for anything beyond God's attention. The writer doesn't know what to ask for, or how to imagine anything besides the present depths and darkness. That's a despair that can surround us and pull us down, and trap us in a "Slough of Despond" as described in Pilgrims Progress, a classic image of hopelessness.

So, we and the psalmist hold fast and wait; that's all we can do. We wait for the Lord who loves us, and we hope that God knows the way out--because we don't. We cry out from the depths and hold fast to God's promises.

Hear me, O God, when I am too confused, depressed, and sorrowful to know what to do or say. Hear me and show me your steadfast love! Amen.

Wendell Debner
Director Emeritus of the Doctor of Ministry Program

Psalm 130 (NRSV)

1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
2 Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!
3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?
4 But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.
5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
6 my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.
7 O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem.
8 It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.