Over these past couple of weeks I’ve realized that there seems to be a med for everything. As part of getting set up to provide in-home care we were given what was called a “comfort kit.” Basically a counter top of medications for different conditions we might encounter, all designed to ensure Sue remained comfortable. If this occurs use this one, if that occurs than administer that one. To avoid this or that, then use these on a regular basis. Every physical symptom anticipated and something provided to remediate it.
But as I’m reading in Psalm 42 this morning it occurs to me that the comfort kit was incomplete. It failed to address one other inevitable symptom.
The songwriter diagnoses it as the “cast down soul” condition. When the weight of what is being dealt with bows one’s back under the burden. That drowning feeling as waves of emotion break over one’s head and seem to flood every inch of one’s being. That state when one’s life energy seems to ebb with no indication that it will again flow.
The comfort kit had nothing for the cast down soul condition. Nor could it, really. But the songwriter provides the missing med.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember You . . .
(Psalm 42:5-6a ESV)
Don’t know for sure that David wrote this song, but it seems likely. Don’t know exactly the circumstances that prompted the cast down condition, but we know enough about David’s life that we can imagine a number of scenarios. What we do know is that it was written to Korah’s worship team–that it was designed to restore praise. To take a soul bowed down by earth’s reality and aim it again at the heights of heaven’s eternity. To clear away the fog of despair and shine again the radiance of God’s glory.
My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember You
“When down, look up.” So reads the label on this divine med. Might sound simplistic or trite, but it really is the remedy for a cast down soul.
Remember the One who is intimately aware of the distress of your soul (Ps. 31:7). Bring to mind His steadfast love and His unfailing promises. Recall every evidence of His abiding hand and the presence of His indwelling Spirit. Retrace every step already taken where He has proven the sufficiency of His grace and the plenitude of His power. When, with a still small voice, He has spoken to your spirit through His living word.
Remember the magnificence of who He is. Know again the excellence of what He has done.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.
(Romans 5:10 ESV)
Redeemed through the finished work of His Son. Having been saved by His death, now being saved through the power of His resurrected life. That’s our hope. That’s the missing med. It straightens the bowed back. It brings into focus again our sure future. It miraculously restores our inner vitality. It primes again the pump compelling praise to flow again freely from our lips.
All by His grace. All for His glory.