Turn to God when you feel down.
I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
- Psalm 30:1-3.
The title reads, 'A song at the dedication of the house'. No one knows whether this refers to the temple (God's house) or David's own house. Either way, it was a time of celebration and reflection for David, looking back on a period of his life when he experienced major suffering.
At this point, David has experienced serious trouble – probably an illness (verse 2b), even to the point of death – but has recovered. Incredibly, his focus is not on his problem but rather on what God has done about it! Look at all those verbs describing what God did to help: 'drawn up', 'not let my foes rejoice', 'healed', 'brought up' and 'restored'.
'Drawn up' is used elsewhere in the Bible to describe someone pulling up a bucket from a well. David has been down in a pit but God has pulled him up!
All the movement is upwards, not downwards. It reminds me of God's promise to his people in Deuteronomy 28:13: 'If you faithfully obey my voice, the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down.'
We are all familiar with 'that sinking feeling' we get when we are depressed or ill. David's great strength was his ability to lay hold of God at those most difficult times, and find himself 'drawn up' out of the pit! The healing he speaks of in verse 2 can apply, of course, to body, mind, emotions or spirit.
Think of a time when God intervened in your life, when you were down and out. Did God use other people or circumstances to lift you out of the pit? Write a short paragraph about it and find someone to read it to. This could be your 'psalm', like David's. Relive the experience as you express your appreciation to someone else.
Thank you Lord God that you care about every part of my life, and at all times. Thank you that there is no pit so deep that your love is not deeper still. Come close to me, especially during those times when I feel low, or "in a pit". Draw me up, heal me, restore me to life. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Perhaps there are people you know who right now are experiencing 'life in a pit'. Pray for them the prayer you've just prayed for yourself. Imagine God reaching down to them now, and lifting them up, just as in those verses in Psalm 30.
Today’s contributor is Andy Parnham, Pastor of Brockley Community Church, London.
Published on 13 August 2019