O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,” Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. –Psalm 139:1-12
2019 was a dark place for me. Especially the final few months. What’s amazing is that I don’t feel grievous. God has given me peace over every circumstance, and has reminded me of the victories over every situation. When things got so bad that I could hardly breathe (literally had fluid on my lungs), and I needed to figure out where I would live and work, God made provision in a way that no one could have possibly imagined. When depression had gripped me so hard that I couldn’t seem to pray my way out, I never lost sight of God’s presence and love. (Jeremiah 31:3) He was there in the dark places. I couldn’t encourage myself, but God was continually reminding me that He loves me. He repeatedly commanded me not to back up in my faith.(Hebrews 10:38-39; 11:6) So I didn’t.
Depression and anxiety had me emotionally paralyzed in a place of great sorrow and tears. I couldn’t move forward but knew better than to back up. So I just stood still. This reminds me of the predicament that the Israelites found themselves in, during the exodus from Egypt. There they were, the Red Sea in front of them and the Egyptian army on their heels (Exodus 14). Moses’ response to their fearful grumbling was “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord”. (Exodus 14:13).
I was reading a book recently, where the main character became lost in the woods. I recalled that his Boy Scout training taught him what to do if he got lost. Stay where you are, in order to increase your chances of being found. Do you feel lost in your circumstances? Has the weight of your sorrow overtaken you? Are you lost and not sure which way to turn? Stand Still. God is there. Once your heart rate slows down and breathing quiets, you’ll be able to hear Him. God’s plan for you is perfect you and He never loses sight of it; even when we do. (Jeremiah 29:11)