Because of the nature of my husband’s job, I often spend Saturdays alone. He is a farmer, and sometimes, he just has to work while the sun shines. There are months when he’s not busy and months when he is extremely busy. I’m not complaining; it’s just the nature of the job.
But for some reason, Saturdays are the hardest days for me to be on my own. My kids are home, sure, but I think that only signals even more that he’s missing. I think it’s because most jobs are Monday – Friday; therefore, other families are together Saturdays. I know there are exceptions, but to me, it feels like everyone else is having fun together on Saturdays, and I’m at home, doing the same old stuff around the house.
This past Saturday was one of those days. It was the day before Mother’s Day, and my husband was busy. Nothing special was going on. I found myself alone and discouraged. Even though my kids played happily together, I felt down in the dumps.
I know, waaa waaa! I don’t seek pity, but I do want to share with you the way I found to get myself out of these downcast days. No matter what our situations, everyone feels a bit off or down sometimes. So, here’s something you can try.
Psalm 42 has a great prescription for our days of discouragement. It’s a sure-fire way to clear the dreariness and welcome in some joy.
Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God! – Psalm 42:5-6, NLT
I love this passage of scripture because I can relate to the Psalmist’s inner dialogue. It’s like he’s questioning himself, wondering why he feels the way he does. And then it’s like a lightbulb goes off! “Wait! I know! I will praise my Savior and my God!”
The Psalmist continues with his inner thoughts:
Now I am deeply discouraged,
but I will remember you—
even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,
from the land of Mount Mizar.
I hear the tumult of the raging seas
as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.
But each day the LORD pours his unfailing love upon me,
and through each night I sing his songs,
praying to God who gives me life. (6b-8)
The writer here confessed he faced raging seas. He was in the midst of a storm with waves sweeping over him. Even so, he convinced himself to remember who God is. And that is what we should do when we feel discouraged or sad.
We can remember that God pours out his unfailing love on us.
We can remember that God created us and sustains our lives. He gives us life abundantly, but now and eternally! (John 10:10).
I’ll admit, sometimes it just feels good to wallow in a little puddle of pity. But I’ll also admit that wallowing does nothing to bring me joy. Praising God does because it lifts our heads off our own situation and up to the giver of life and joy!
So when we’re done wallowing in self-pity and diving into discouragement, we must turn to God and praise him. When we do this, we find our hope and our joy in our Savior and our God.