In the verses of this Psalm, David is lamenting…he is battling depression…and he is searching. To the Believer, depression may seem as something only non-believers suffer through…but it’s not true. Statistics show 18% of Americans have been or are currently depressed. I myself went through a period of clinical depression years ago when a combination of debilitating emotions, negative thinking, and a sense of sadness overwhelmed me. But what got me through the distress was the awe of God. I clung to His Word as a drowning person would cling to a life-preserver thrown to them. I would recite Scriptures out-loud that God is in me, (Colossians 1:27-28) God is with me, (Philippians 4:4-9) and God is for me. (Romans 8:31) and slowly the hope in God returned… just as we find it did for David later in this Psalm. (Psalm 69:30-36)
Say someone you’re close to is going through a major health crisis…so as a good person off you go to their house. But soon this visit becomes very awkward, for the more you talk and ask questions, the more frustrated and angry the person becomes. Abruptly the visit ends with you walking out wondering why you feel discouraged and angry when all you wanted to do was to encourage and comfort that person. Aristotle referred to anger as desire with grief. And this verse in James should be a guide as we deal with those going through critical times. Listening should be the only goal we have…not preaching…not pumping the person for details…nor personalizing the visit with every awful thing we’ve gone through. Proverbs 10:19 says, “When words are many, sin is not absent.” I remember hearing a story about Mother Teresa, that when she visited the dying she rarely spoke…instead she just held them, stroking their face, and listening. When your only agenda is to listen…you are validating that person and giving consideration to what they’re going through without bias or opinion. They are then free to explore and verbalize their internal dialogue as they work through their emotions. Just listening can then become the greatest gift you can give that person.