Life is not a fairytale. The reality of life contains all kinds of pressure, discord, and threats on the outside; and dark valleys on the inside, where our faith is shaken and our soul is downcast. In Psalm 42, the psalmist is found in this very place: dark, mournful, and troubled.
In verse 6, the psalmist remembers God from the land of Jordan, the heights of Hermon, and Mount Mizar. The land of Jordan is located to the east of the Jordan River. It falls outside the boundaries of Israel and is inhabited by the Moabites. The heights of Hermon and Mount Mizar are both mountainous regions at the border of Israel, populated by the Gentiles. Thus, as the psalmist finds himself in a foreign land, far away from the house of God; his heart mourns the loss of peace and joy due to being separated from the presence of God.
Likewise, as we absorb the impact of the plague and pandemic, we feel like the psalmist. Our hearts may be disturbed by the devouring flood of news, a mix of facts and falsehood, that we struggle to discern. Our minds may be plagued by anxiety regarding health, the economy, and our own livelihood and family. “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?” But at this very moment, the psalmist turns to seek God’ face, and pray to God of life who is full of love and grace.
May we, too, turn to seek God’s face! Let us not settle for pain and weeping at a distance from our LORD! By day and by night, the LORD loves us and delights in hearing our prayers. He desires to bless us with his covenant of peace and abundant promises!
“Dear Jesus who gives us rest, we thank you for calling us to come to you and to turn away from our downcast feelings and disquieted spirits. Help us to never leave your side, to always turn our eyes on you, and in the light of your love, enter peace.”
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