I have been studying the psalms for my Lenten messages. The series is called Victory
in Jesus, and the congregation and I have been wrestling with some very difficult issues that we all must confront. Perhaps most challenging for all of us is facing our fears. I have been fearful, and if you are honest, you have felt its crushing weight as well. It is the emotion that no one wants to admit they feel. Seldom do you hear someone say, “I am so afraid.”
Often when we are fearful we feel most alone, yet God is by our side always. I was reading from the journal of Sheila Walsh who was institutionalized for severe depression. Listen to her words about the nearness of God:
I never knew you lived so close to the floor,
but every time I am bowed down,
crushed by this weight of grief,
I feel your hand on my head , your breath on my cheek, your tears on my neck.
You never tell me to pull myself together,
to stem the flow of many years.
You simply stay by my side
for as long as it takes, so close to the floor.
Friends, “Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid or terrified . . . for the Lord your God goes with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deut. 31:5).