Tears for Food

Tears for Food

My tears have been my food
   day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
   “Where is your God?” Psalm 42:3

Weeping is something that people in our society don’t normally do in public. It is often a sign of weakness and instability. And crying non-stop is certainly unusual.

Look at the psalmist’s situation. When he says that tears have been his food day and night, this is a sign that real trouble has befallen him. If tears have been his food, that means he has not been eating solid meals for a long time. And on top of this, he is not in the company of believers if all he is hearing is: “Where is your God?” With friends like this, who needs enemies?

Most of us have a friend or two who struggle with chronic depression. This is not something I have personally experienced, by God’s mercy and grace. Even Christians struggle with depression at times. We have faith in God, but we feel all alone – away from the Lord and His people. Isolation creates a darkness and numbness that is practically all-consuming. Perhaps circumstances in family, job, or a physical ailment cause depression to seep in. Or sometimes it may simply be a chemical imbalance or our genetic inheritance. Depression tends to isolate people. I believe that the most important thing we can do for depression – either ours or someone else’s – is to be with other people who love the Lord. No one should be alone!

The writer of this psalm needs the fellowship of brothers and sisters in his faith and to reconnect with God. He asks the question earlier in this psalm in verse 2: “When can I go and meet with God?” Notice the question he asks himself is different from the question his unbelieving friends are taunting him with: “Where is your God?” He asks “when;” they ask “where.” What a difference! The lie we often cling to is that God is not with us in our darkest moments. By faith, we know He is with us. This man longs to get back in touch with God and asks: “when can I go and meet with God?” Implied in his question is: “When can I get to the temple again to worship?”

For us, because of the finished work of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit, we can go meet with God at any time and at any place. But sometimes we need the physical presence of a believing friend, and the body of Christ, to remember that the answer to the question “when” is NOW!  

Lord, we praise you that you are always with us, even in our darkest moments. Keep us from believing that you have deserted us and remember instead that we can turn to you at any time and have your full, undivided attention. You are nearer to us than our right hand. Help us to be the hands and feet of Jesus for those who are feasting only on their tears so that their souls will be restored by you. Amen

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