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DEEP CALLS TO DEEP

JOY COMES IN THE MORNING

In the midst of the deadly “D”s (disappointment, death, divorce, disease, depression) there is a beautiful and mysterious D phrase: DEEP CALLS TO DEEP. For those of us who are children of God, there is such hope. Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning. At the time our heart is sinking down, God may come to us, and His deep voice may speak deep into our souls.Last week Anne, who has journeyed with us for sometime, wrote something profound, something very related to this phrase: Deep calls to deep. She listened to Keller’s message Questions of Suffering on Job and responded:

My greatest take away is the idea that suffering is what bonds me to God. Having just finished the study on idolatry I remember my angst over how to replace my idols with Jesus. I tried everything. I denied myself and sought Him in the word and prayer but in the end I just had to wait for Him to come to me. And He did but not right away. So if I know that suffering will bring me closer to Him, perhaps I can lean in, knowing that I will get more of Him.

I have experienced exactly that — suffering has brought me closer to God. Yet if you would have told me seven years ago that my children and I would be doing well one day, and that I would actually be closer to God, I might have wanted to kick you. And some of you may feel that right now too. It may feel like we don’t understand the depth of your pain. And yet, God gives us real hope and Psalm 42 tells us how to take our souls in hands and to speak to them when we are sinking down. We must all learn to do this — for both times of catastrophic pain, but also for everyday sorrows.

Steve Brestin at cabin

On the very same shore that the above hammock is bathed in joyous light, I took this picture of my beloved months before he died. Steve was a contemplative man, and he often had to take his soul in hand during his illness. He told our youngest, “Annie — I’m so sad I have to leave you — but I’m so glad I got to be your daddy. And I will always be your daddy.” Even in those words I know that Steve was talking to his soul. He trusted God’s promises that we would be reunited one day. And we will! One day we will hug, we will talk, we will laugh — and “everything sad,” as Tolkein put it, “will be untrue.” Joy will come in the morning.

Steve told us that twice in his life God had spoken to him in a voice he knew was not his own — once during a profound depression, and once after his diagnosis of cancer. Each time it was Deep calling to deep with the same question:

Steve, do you trust me?

Each time God called him by name.

Each time He asked the same question.

Each time, Steve answered, “I do.”

Jesus cares about our sorrows and He comes to us. He can see the future, and He knows it is good. He knows our sorrow will only last for the night and joy will come in the morning, yet He still cares about our nights, and will comfort His suffering child. And at times, deep will call to deep.

What does this phrase that has inspired poets and painters mean?  Charles Spurgeon interpreted it as “the deep voice of God speaking deep into our souls.”

ICE-BREAKER

Share a time when “Deep called to deep,” when in a time of sorrow or anxiety, the deep voice of God spoke deep into your soul.

There are three parts to the study this week:

A. An inductive look at Psalm 42

B. Listening to a free sermon on Psalm 42 by Tim Keller: Link

C. Listening to Midday Connection as Anita and I discuss this chapter from The God of All Comfort. (See link at bottom of page for past program)

LET’S GO!

PART A.

READ PSALM 42:

Read as a lover reads, lingering on the images. There are four water images. The first is familiar to us.

1. In Psalm 42:1-2, what is the image? What do the streams of living water that the psalmist is trying to find represent?

2. The psalmist says he is not finding God. He is like a deer dying for water who comes all the way down from the mountain and finds the riverbed dry. What water image is in verse 3? How is this a true lament?

3. Look carefully and see if you can find hidden in this verse 3 the  classic signs of depression.  (weeping, not sleeping, not eating).

4. Find another causal factor to depression in verse 4.

5. Often, when facing a deadly D, we want to withdraw. Have you felt that way? Why is that one of the worst things you can do?

6. If you are, indeed, withdrawing, talk to your soul and tell her some of the ways being with Christian brethren has encouraged you in the past.

I want to tell you how you, my sisters on this blog, have come to mean a great deal to me. It is often through you that God whispers, encourages, and guides. You are a well of water into which I dip.

7. Now, in Psalm 42:5, the psalmist does something very wise. He takes his soul in hand and asks him a question. What is it?

8. For those who have been through our idolatry study, what do you think he is really asking his soul?

9. What, according to verse 5, does he tell his soul to do?

I was listening to Leslie Vernick on Midday Connection last week on relationships, and she told of going to The Christian Booksellers convention — a mega-event where booksellers and publishers connect and authors come for publicity opportunities. Leslie said that she began to get really jealous of some of her author friends who had bigger displays and more radio opportunities.  And so she asked her soul, “What’s going on here?” [Why are you downcast, O my soul?] She realized it was her approval idol, and so was able to tell her soul to find her approval in God instead.

10. As the psalmist (we aren’t sure if it was David, though Spurgeon says it reeks of David!) is far away from others who love God (he may be fleeing in the wilderness from enemies, he may be captured) he remembers times when he did have fellowship with brothers and sisters. He remembers how God was close to him. He is lamenting when suddenly God comes to him. In verse 7 we have the famous phrase “deep calls to deep.” What water image is it paired with? What do you know about the roar of waterfalls that would go with “deep calling to deep?”

10. The fourth water image is both negative and positive, though I for so long only saw it as negative. Find it in this same verse.


A. How could this water image be negative?

B. Verse 7 paired with verse 8 shows how this water image could be positive. What do you see?

11. After the psalmist has talked to his soul, what must he do again in 42:11 and 43:5? What does this tell you?

12. Watch this and comment on it. What images from Psalm 42 do you find? Other thoughts?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCwDtSFMjdw

13. Any other thoughts from Psalm 42? Application?

PART B.

LISTEN TO KELLER’S FREE SERMON ON PSALM 42 AND RECORD YOUR THOUGHTS: Link

ONE THING THAT IS INTERESTING TO ME, IS KELLER REFERS TO PEOPLE WHO SO BACKED AWAY FROM GOD IN THE MIDST OF PAIN THAT THEY ARE NOT SURE THEY ARE CHRISTIANS. WHAT THOUGHTS DO YOU HAVE ON THIS?

PART C.

LISTEN TO MIDDAY CONNECTION: Link

We must speak to our souls. Keller says he reads Psalm 96 to himself everyday to keep perspective about what is ahead. One day Jesus will come, and all weeping will be gone. The trees of the field will clap their hands. May we keep speaking the truth to our souls.

Then shall all the trees of the forest clap their hands before the Lord, for he comes (Psalm 96:12)

UPDATE: Here is the link to the “God of All Comfort, Part 4” on Moody Radio: Link

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309 comments

  1. Looking forward to this week! Read through it and liked the ‘deadly D’s’ reference. Love the picture of Steve too-There is a lot said there in such a simple, beautiful picture. Will pray for you Dee this week in regard to your request on the last post. Love you sister!

    Lord, Thank you that you have Dee’s oldest son in your hands and we thank you that He is your child! We trust that you are moving and working in his heart. Lord quicken his soul this week and we pray Lord he would be open and willing to be corrected with your word somehow-whether it be a seed Dee might plant this week or whether he completely wakes up to the truth. We will trust your timing either way and your working in his heart Lord. We ask you to soften his heart. Give Dee your gentle boldness with the right words in the right timing that will speak truth to his soul.

    1. Dear Dee, I’m sniffling and tears in my eye’s as I seen that picture of Steve. God made him so much like Jesus in his short lifetime. He’s the only man I’ve know that was like that.

      I’m praying for your time with your son, that God would bless you both and give you wisdom. You’ll be on my heart and in my prayer’s all day and evening.

  2. Dee–the picture of Steve–amazing, beautiful, brought such emotion–and gives me more of a sense of somehow knowing this dear man,your love– thank you for sharing it.

  3. I agree with both of the ladies. I am behind this week, because I couldn’t get the Midday to play and haven’t had the quiet to listen to it over the weekend. I can’t wait to dive into this weeks study.

      1. Dee, Actually, I saw someone comment about a Terri in Kearney, but that isn’t me. I have lived in MN, MI and for the last 20 years in FL.

  4. . In Psalm 42:1-2, what is the image? What do the streams of living water that the psalmist is trying to find represent? A deer longing for water that satifies; water that satifies.. from the Lord

    2. The psalmist says he is not finding God. He is like a deer dying for water who comes all the way down from the mountain and finds the riverbed dry. What water image is in verse 3? How is this a true lament? I weep day and night: becuase you are crying out to GOd

    3. Look carefully and see if you can find hidden in this verse 3 the classic signs of depression. (weeping, not sleeping, not eating). Not eating, weeping and not sleeping

    4. Find another causal factor to depression in verse 4.I will remember and weep

    5. Often, when facing a deadly D, we want to withdraw. Have you felt that way? Why is that one of the worst things you can do? becasue we wont be near to God if we withdraw and it will only make you feel worse.

    7. Now, in Psalm 42:5, the psalmist does something very wise. He takes his soul in hand and asks him a question. What is it? why are you depressed o my soul.

    9. What, according to verse 5, does he tell his soul to do? To wait for God

  5. Hi Ladies

    I am stuck on number 10 could someone help me when they get a chance?

      1. Dee this is the one i am struggling with! Also thank you for the verse it was very helpful!

        10. As the psalmist (we aren’t sure if it was David, though Spurgeon says it reeks of David!) is far away from others who love God (he may be fleeing in the wilderness from enemies, he may be captured) he remembers times when he did have fellowship with brothers and sisters. He remembers how God was close to him. He is lamenting when suddenly God comes to him. In verse 7 we have the famous phrase “deep calls to deep.” What water image is it paired with? What do you know about the roar of waterfalls that would go with “deep calling to deep?”

        1. It seems to be paired with the image of a large ocean wave. My son and I were playing in the NJ ocean a few weeks ago and we had so much fun jumping into the large waves! If we didn’t jump into them (basically underneath them) we got blasted toward the shore and beaten down with the water. I suppose that is in itself a lesson….jump into the wave, it’s calmer there?

          The second part is hard though. I don’t get it either. A waterfall has a thin stream (if it’s small) or a large, wide stream (like Victoria Falls in Africa). The thin one seems to be long like a rope. The wide one is one that you could stand under and feel like you are in another world. You wouldn’t be able to see through the water; it would almost be like a blanket over you. You couldn’t hear very well either; it’s loud! However they both have a connection from the top of the falls to the bottom. Is this the “deep calling to deep” part? I am so bad at analyzing poetry that I rarely have read the Psalms because I feel lost in the words often. This really helps to break it apart line by line (and having a great teacher to see us through!).

        2. I read this Psalm again this morning and thought about what I wanted to convey
          in my post.
          I believe God can allow us to feel the emptiness and desperation of what others
          are experiencing. I felt that clearly from the people I encountered in Haiti.
          I never felt that before, I believe God wants us to have that ” fellowship of suffering”
          with those who are hurting, otherwise I can we effectively minister the Love He has
          for them?
          My study Bible says this about Psalm 42:
          This poet felt that God was remote and distant. He expressed his deep longing
          for God as being comparable to the intense thirst of a deer for water during a time of
          severe drought. The poet longed to enjoy once more the assurance of God’s
          presence with Him.
          God know when & where to put us during these times, as I am writing this
          I just learned the lady who works here ( Rosa) husband had passed away two weeks ago from a brain aneurysm.
          Please remember Rosa and her family in prayer!

        3. I will remember Rosa and her family in prayer.

      2. I struggle with this often (“…don’t get worked up…”). I toss and turn in the night because I need a “plan of action” at any time to help my daughter stay out of trouble. I want to believe that God is here helping us through, but I can’t seem to give myself totally because she is so strange compared to others. She does stupid things like, allow strangers in my car when she doesn’t know directions and (thinks) she needs the stranger to help her. Trust me, I did all the “stranger-danger” things when she was little! Needless to say she isn’t allowed to drive anymore. So, she hitch-hikes (!) I have explained how dangerous these choices are, but she thinks I’m an idiot and that I don’t know anything.

        Getting back to the sermon, It says, “God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” I don’t see anything happening that is good for her. She just keeps making HUGE mistakes that could potentially harm herself or others, and I continue to worry and plan for the next event. I don’t know how to stop this cycle. I want to believe God will see us through, but I’m scared to let go. How do I change this feeling?

        All of this leads to one of the D’s…depression for me. I fight back by trying not to think about it and to listen to sermons, pray,exercise, and work too much.

        1. I heard parts of todays broadcast then parts of Chris Fabry’s broadcast. My thoughts on both were we have to think on the good things and really see the miracles that happen everyday. While in our mind, our children are making really stupid mistakes but God may be using their tears and fears to bring them to a place where they will look to HIM. If we continue to enable our children and help them out of every bad situation, it might just take longer for them to see Jesus. Yes, your daughter might have picked up some stranger, but God was right there keeping her from harm. My daughter was in a wreck just a short time after her son’s Daddy died of luekemia, but praise the Lord, the baby wasn’t in the car with her and no one died. My elderly parents were visiting me when Dad got sick and was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer, thank God they weren’t hundreds of miles away because my husband and I were able to schedule our two work schedules around their care. Look for the miracles and try to stay out of God’s way!!!!

        2. Laura,
          I have no children and I cannot sympathize with your situation much but I am a worrier.
          Reading your post, I keep thinking of the time I was talking with a church counselor and he said, “You know what the issue is… you have a control issue. You need to let go.” All I could think was, “Ok, so how do I do that?” I asked him can you tell me how to do that? I thought he was going to burst into laughter. I still to this day have no idea how to “let go”. I spend hours and hours a day thinking about what will happen 5 days from now, 5 months from now. What a discomfort to constantly be in that state of thinking! I cherish verses such as these.

          Matthew 6:25-34

          “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

          Tomorrow will worry about itself.

          You are a wonderful and loving mother. I hope to be as good a mom as you someday.

        3. Thank you everyone for the very kind words and of reminding me who is in control! I am under a big test right now because my daughter agreed to come to Atlanta with me as long as she could fly home (to NH) after a couple of weeks (my husbands idea). I wanted her to see my ailing mom, so I agreed. Well, the test is to stay calm until next weekend when she will fly, and have to change planes to get home. She is 19 and feels very sure of herself. I keep reminding her of what to do in certain situations at the airport. Luckily my family has always traveled and she feels pretty comfortable in airports. It’s those “weird” things that crop up that I get concerned with…I can see her just sitting down (in DC) and not being able to move forward to the next step! Oh well, I HAVE to let it go and trust that God will be right next to her the whole way home. He MUST have been with her in the stranger incident in the car!

          Thanks to all for prayers and (again) kind words. You are a blessing 🙂

        4. Laura, one of the things that I have struggled with as far as my children are concerned is projecting my fear on them. My husband was very good at giving the kids “wings” and allowing them to take some chances and build their confidence. I know the Lord has them in His hand, and that my worrying will not change his plan. I still tend to say the “Mom” stuff even though they are all adults, yet I am thankful that my husband was able to take over in situations in which my motherly fear would have paralyzed me. It is so difficult to see them do things that may cause them harm. Will pray.

  6. A. How could this water image be negative? Well its a huge wave you see come crashing down so you could feel like everything is coming crashing down on you?

  7. B. Verse 7 paired with verse 8 shows how this water image could be positive. What do you see? it says in verse 8 that By the day the Lord decrees is loyal love and by night he gives me a song, a prayer to the living God

  8. 11. After the psalmist has talked to his soul, what must he do again in 42:11 and 43:5? What does this tell you? to wait for God! oh this is so hard for me… i usually want to know everything now!! But i have learned to be patient and wait on him and his perfect timing he is never early nor is he ever late

  9. First I have to say I am so stinking excited about this week!! I had to fall off a bit last week cuz of illness/fasting junk but God has lifted me back up some. Anyway, I was going to list Psalm 42 as the Psalm from last week. Also it is what we founded Refresh My Soul Ministries on. I have always felt a desire to help those who are in this dark night. Psalm 42 has been so encouraging to me but I have never inductively studied it! So excited!!

    I too love that picture of Steve. I know you must be so happy to have it. Praying for you all!!

    Deep calling to deep. God spoke to my soul and I knew it was Him twice about my illness. When it first started I was just a babe in the faith. He said it would last for a season. That is all. I thought okay God I can do this for 3 mos! Anything for you. A literal season being 3 mos. 🙂 Well then it lasted 7 years but He never left me. At the end He spoke again and said, I have healed you but it will be a long time until you return to normal health. So strange to think of that but it was the same voice and after He spoke it I was instantly healed. It was amazing. For 3 and a half years. Then it started to hit me off and on again like what I am experiencing right now. I ponder what that reference to time means, a long time….Joni Earkson Tada in The Healing Place referenced it. In the reference she used it was 40 years about a crippled man. WOW! To trust and just know God works in mysterious ways. He knows what a long time means and really maybe Heaven is the only experience of normal. So I wait and trust knowing my home is not here. Oh how beautiful and wonderful our Lord is to comfort, sustain, speak, and love us in this even as 6 year olds.

  10. ICE-BREAKER
    Chapter 4 of God of All Comfort has many of my favorite “nuggets” of Dee’s writings. One is this: “Suffering is like salt, increasing our thirstiness. In grief, we can recognize that our thirst is for God and press harder into Him, still believing He is sovereign, caring, and our only hope.” Anne echoed this truth above in her take-away from last week.
    When I tried to think of a time when God has spoken to my soul in the deep—I thought through many painful times in my life-health issues, deaths in my family. But one time stands out as when I believe I most felt Him call to me. Before my husband’s mental illness diagnosis, we had many dark, dark times. I could not share anything with anyone—friends or family, still wanting to protect him, though we did have a Christian counselor—there were many times things would happen and I was alone–but the suffering made me oh so thirsty, running to Him in my closet–crying out for His saving grace. Looking back, it was a strange blessing because I could truly only turn to God. In other trials I have run to friends or my husband before crying to the Lord. Now that the storm has passed, I see the way He carried me, sustained me, brought us light and truth and healing.

  11. 12. Watch this and comment on it. What images from Psalm 42 do you find? Other thoughts? I am not sure if this is right or not but i see the whole psalm in this song.. I especially like when they say “come to the fountain”

  12. Dee

    The link is not working for the Keller sermon.. it takes you to the page but then they want you to purchase it?

  13. This may sound crazy, but how does one break free from the deadly depression and disappointments of life when he realizes his suffering has become an idol of sorts in his life?

    1. Karl, can you elaborate a little more about that. I don’t understand.

    2. Do you mean that you don’t know how you would live without the sufferings? I kinda get this. In other words, you wait for the next thing to happen so you can “fix” it or at least be involved in the process of grief?

  14. ICEBREAKER
    I was a young married woman of 21 years of age when the doctor told me I would need an abortion if it turned out I was indeed pregnant. The doctor had discovered I had a double cervix and would need surgery if I ever wanted to carry a child. Pregnancy tests took a lot longer in those days so it was a very long wait. On the way home I don’t remember driving I just remember God comforting me and telling me not to fret, that I was not pregnant and I would be fine. As it turned out God was right and I went on to have the needed surgery which enabled me to carry two sons. I will never forget the nearness of God that day and the way God let me know early that I wasn’t pregnant.

    1. Oh Kim, I praise God for that blessing and your two sons!

      1. Yes I agree! I love your son sooo much! (He is my hubby)

  15. Share a time when “Deep called to deep,” when in a time of sorrow or anxiety, the deep voice of God spoke deep into your soul. well for the past 6 weeks or so i have been afraid of the end times. We had some really bad storms here the end of may and i had never seen it get so bad here in my whole life. But just a couple weeks ago i was praying to the Lord and asking him to give me a song, picture, or verse of scripture and so i waited a min or so.. and he told me The best is yet to come. which really comforted me.

    1. That comforts me too, Meg!

    2. Thanks Meg. I too have that same sense and I don’t know whether to dread or rejoice. That is a very comforting word from the Lord.

      1. I am glad it comforted and encouraged you ladies

    3. Thanks for sharing that, Meg….I love that ” the best is yet to come”!

  16. I thought this was a sweet message and might encourage some hurting soul today.

    After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick.. when he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings.

    The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast… because she had been willing to die, so those under the cover of her wings would live.
    ‘He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge.’ (Psalm 91:4)

    1. That is a beautiful picture of what Jesus has done for us. We sang This is My Father’s World this morning. How He has magnified Himself in it right down to a mother dying to protect her young.

    2. Thank you for sharing that, Kim.

    3. This made me cry.

    4. Kim, that’s how much a mother loves her children, enough to die for them…thanks for sharing that.

  17. Icebreaker

    I think the time that I would share is when I went back for a visit to the place I grew up. I had moved away in 1973 and returned in 2004 on a business trip. When I flew over in the plane coming in and saw the familiar landmarks something awoke in me that had been asleep. I don’t know how to explain except to say that it was too painful to remember and not be able to go back, so I just forgot or buried. When I got home I booked tickets for my oldest who was 18 and I and we went the following fall. Fall in New England just lights me up and it did. My son loved it too. We just kind of knocked around and I spent a good bit of time in contemplation. Somewhere I have read that often it is when you go back to the place where you took the wrong turn God will meet you there. That is what happened. I was so broken about how I had turned away from God when I was 18. We were resting and I was sitting on the motel porch basking in the afternoon sun and thinking. I did not hear a voice as much as I had a thought with words that I knew did not come from me. He said “Are you ready now?” and my heart resounded. Oh yes! The thing that really makes me think this was deep calling to deep was the resounding response of my soul. That was almost 8 years ago. So much has happened but none of it is what I expected. All I could discern was that God was calling me to be still and I kept asking “When do I get to do something?” Still nothing profound has happened but what I can see is that I have gone so much deeper with God. I did not see myself as superficial but now I know that I was and so full of idolatry. I was ready to grow and God is providing for that here.

    1. “He said “Are you ready now?” and my heart resounded. Oh yes! ”
      That is a beautiful story Anne,

    2. Anne, have you thought of writing? You have a gift!

      1. I agree with Kim, Anne!

      2. Thank you both. I do love to write but I would not know where to begin. The Lord would have to get me started.

    3. Anne, loved reading your story…makes my heart happy:)

      1. Joyce it was a trip I will never forget. Neither will my son. Blessed from start to finish. The pictures stir my soul to this day.

  18. Share a time when “Deep called to deep,” when in a time of sorrow or anxiety, the deep voice of God spoke deep into your soul.
    About 2 1/2 years ago, I had a heart attack at age 54. I was fearful about what my future would hold. I was terrified that my life could soon be over, that I would not get to be there for my kids and my grandkids. I was lying in the hospital bed all alone and I heard the Lord say, “Terri, all the days ordained for you were written in my book before one of them came to be.” I knew it was the voice of the Lord and I clung to that Scripture and continue to do so.

    1. Terri, loved that!

  19. Just wanted to pass this by you. I also love to write, but am not great at it, but that is o.k. 🙂 I enjoy painting pictures of scenes in my life so I thought I would share it with my sweet sisters here-Lord willing you might be encouraged: http://truththumper.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/i-hear/ 🙂

    1. Love this Rebecca. Shared it on FB.

    2. Rebecca, thank you for sharing your writings. You do a great job– I appreciate you all the more after reading it.

    3. Beautiful, Rebecca!

    4. Rebecca, Love that story and that psalm is my favorite.

    5. That was really good Rebecca! Your boys are so fortunate to have such a wise mother. You may not be able to see it from your perspective but I do.

      1. Ladies, you are so encouraging! Awesome sisters. Anne, thanks so much for your encouragement. I so need to hear that! 🙂

  20. 1. In Psalm 42:1-2, what is the image? What do the streams of living water that the psalmist is trying to find represent?
    Of a deer panting, and searching until he finds water to quench his thirst. There is nothing else that will meet his needs so he searches until he finds it.
    The streams represent God and how he quenches our thirst.

    2. The psalmist says he is not finding God. He is like a deer dying for water who comes all the way down from the mountain and finds the riverbed dry. What water image is in verse 3? How is this a true lament? His tears have been his food, He is being real with God, telling him how it really is, and how people say to him “where is your God”. Makes me think again how we worry so much that we will be a bad witness for the Lord if we don’t put on our masks that everything is all right. I guess David didn’t worry about that. Could it be that being transparent and allowing people to see our struggles is a better witness and it also gives those who are in our life permission to be honest too– both believers and unbelievers.

    3. Look carefully and see if you can find hidden in this verse 3 the classic signs of depression. (weeping, not sleeping, not eating).
    My tears have been my food day and night–

  21. ICE-BREAKER

    Share a time when “Deep called to deep,” when in a time of sorrow or anxiety, the deep voice of God spoke deep into your soul.

    For me it was a time before I was married. It was about five or six years after I came to know the Lord-so I guess around 15 years ago. There was a lot of pain and shame buried beneath from my past. I fell into a depression/anxiety season. It was so bad I was clinically diagnosed and put on anti-depressants which only lasted a week. I got off the meds and it went deeper. The anxiety was so bad I couldn’t go back into the room I slept in. Every room didn’t bring me comfort or ease the suffering. I was drowning and there was only one option of a way out in my mind, but God came to the rescue. He had a friend sit ‘sheva’ with me. She just sat with me. Never said a word really. God used her to sustain me. Then God brought our singles pastor to mind who is a gifted counselor. He and his family were very close friends. He counseled me via the phone because my anxiety was so bad I couldn’t leave the house.
    God spoke to my lying thoughts, one by one. My counselor told me to take a pen and write down each thought then replace that thought with the truth. As I wrote out my thoughts I cried out to God and told him when my name was mentioned it reminded me of a pile of dirt but He spoke truth to my soul reminding me that I am made in His image. I am special because He made me. The second lie was that I wasn’t worthy of love. He breathed again and spoke truth into my soul telling me, Rebecca you are lovely and wonderfully made. I love you. I am here. Trust me.”

    I look back and I see now though that my control/comfort idol had just about destroyed me but God came to my rescue even though I didn’t understand I had an idol problem. But because of this blog study I can now see the red flags when my idols are active.

    1. Rebecca, loved how God turned your trials around for you!

  22. 1. In Psalm 42:1-2, what is the image? What do the streams of living water that the psalmist is trying to find represent?

    “As a deer pants for water…” I will never read this psalm the same after reading The God of All Comfort! The deer—such a graceful animal, panting for water—desperately soaking it in, focused solely on the water. The water represents the Living Water—Jesus, the presence of the Lord in our lives.

    2. What water image is in verse 3? How is this a true lament?

    The psalmist talks about his tears being constant—he is crying out with passionate grief to God, searching for His presence.

    3. Look carefully and see if you can find hidden in this verse 3 the classic signs of depression. (weeping, not sleeping, not eating).

    He is crying continually, without sleep, without food, and listening to lies in his mind of God forsaking him.

    4. Find another causal factor to depression in verse 4.

    He no longer has fellowship or sings praise and thanksgiving to God. He has withdrawn, retreated, isolated himself.

    5. Often, when facing a deadly D, we want to withdraw. Have you felt that way? Why is that one of the worst things you can do?

    Oh yes, I have done this—and still, it is my default mode whenever there is pain, or possibility of rejection. I am also introverted, so the idea of being in the comfort zone of home, is a double bonus! I had a wonderful Christian counselor describe my retreating from pain as staying in my “bunker”. I didn’t know what he meant, but in military terms is a is a “hardened shelter designed to protect the inhabitants from falling bombs or other attacks”.
    The danger is that you cut yourself off from fellowship and I am then more vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. In Dee’s book, she mentions the accusations in her mind after Steve’s death. For me, everything quickly becomes my fault. From infertility to relationship fall-outs, I fall into a pit of self-defeating blame that only further isolates me, and keeps me from feeling His love.

    Working through much pain and loss over the years began to break those walls, and as it did, tears flooded out and I began to live more, but also yes, experience more vulnerability to pain. I feel like this study has been the next step for me. Fully exposed, tender, the tension is still there at times to run and retreat behind the walls the lies tell me are safe.

    These past few weeks, I can’t escape His voice telling me to “Go in. Go into the pain, go into the fear of rejection, go…and I will meet you in it, I will carry you. I will make all things new.’ Tonight we had an event that I was terrified to go to. Every red flag of rejection was up. Things had transpired in the past few months that made this a very difficult setting to go into. I begged my husband to create some way for us to not go. But we went. And yes, He was there. The time was healing, good fellowship, and I smiled coming home. The first step is still like lifting my foot from quick sand, but I can’t deny He is speaking to me to go…and I can’t deny He is there with me.

    1. Yes! You are coming out of the quick sand, with God pulling you!

      1. Joyce–you always make me smile! Yes, He has to pull stubborn me pretty hard!

        Still loving the picture of Mary Kay and Dennis–praying for you all~

        1. Thank you

    2. I strongly relate Elizabeth, thank you for your honesty in sharing this. I retreat as well, I have often wondered if making everything my fault is really a control issue, sort of ‘if it is my fault then maybe I can fix it’.

  23. When opened my email to read and seen the words from Psalm 42:7 “Deep calls unto deep..” I thought of my Sunday school teacher from years ago when I was a teenager, Barbara Willoughby.
    Barbara was the wife of Bishop Steven Willoughby.Both missionaries & pastors of Tabernacle of Joy in Singapore.
    Barbara was only a few years older than I, and was not married yet when she was my teacher.
    The reason why those words “Deep calls unto Deep” leaped out at me is because after learning Barbara had passed away from a remarkable 10 year ( I believe it was 10) fight with breast cancer.
    I went to the website of Tabernacle of Joy and read about their special service ( I believe revival) and the theme was called “Deep calls unto Deep”.
    I don’t believe I ever heard of that Psalm prior to that time & had wondered what it meant.
    When I read the lesson, looked at the picture of Steve Brestin,it touched my heart because I also thought of Barbara.
    She wrote a book called “Year of Privilege, Year of Blessing”, when she was in remission.
    Barbara died in August of 2009, 1 week after my daughter Angela’s wedding.
    I took her book out and read it for mornining devotion. I was so moved by her strength, her courage and example.

    Barbara Willoughby was someone I knew in my formative years, but such an impact she made!

    I can rememeber a conversation I had with Barbara shortly before she went off to Bible College in St.Paul MN where she met her Steve. ( I say her Steve because I know Dee had a Steve too!). She asked me what I wanted to do with my life after high school. I said probably go to Bible College like you, write.( I did neither).
    Barbara told me how she wanted to be a missionary. When she talked about how amazing and exciting a missionarys’ life must be..to be totally used of God.Her face lit up!
    It was Barb’s example of total surrendar to God that helped me decide to take a mission’s trip to Haiti shortly after the earthquake.
    “Deep calls unto deep” is what I heard calming my spirit as we stepped off the plane. Escorted through a crowd of desparate, devastated people

    That is the voice I heard in my spirit when our mission’s team worshipped in the remains of a church in Port Au Prince, “Source de la Grace” on the Palm Sunday.

    I felt His calm Spirit over the congregation, comforting them. Knowing that right outside the tent, decay, death & desparation was lingering all around. We can litterally smell death. But there was such a Peace.

    Deep calls unto Deep…God is so amazing!
    Laura

  24. First, I have got to mention that I was just reading Psalm 30 to find the verse, “weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” (v5).

    Share a time when “Deep called to deep,” when in a time of sorrow or anxiety, the deep voice of God spoke deep into your soul.

    Since my husband’s death in March I have been particularly sensitive to the voice of God. And the other day the Lord convicted me of how I was neglecting Him…not giving Him my best. You see I would get up early in the morning (4:45 am) to make my husband his breakfast so he could he leave by 5:30. We would be able to have some special time together while he ate and then after he left I would have my quiet time with the Lord.

    After Steve died I stopped getting up early. I would get up just with enough time to get our sons ready for school and then try to have a quiet time later in the day. Now that the boys are out of school for the summer I have been sleeping in and then doing my quiet time, but the boys are up and I feel like I am “neglecting” them.

    Just this last week the Lord brought the Scripture Isaiah 54 which says, “For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name, and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer”

    So I have been starting to get up early again not as early as before but well before the boys get up.

    I read this quote by Oswald Chambers the other day…
    The Momentous moments in our lives are not meant to teach us anything, they are meant to make us something.

    I know that the Lord is making me into a new woman…a woman more like Jesus. It is a hard process, but I am thankful that He is the one in control of all things and that I can trust Him.

    On Saturday I got home from a mission trip with our church and saw that our trailer was gone. My husband bought and hauled the trailer for our church each week. We meet at a school so we have to haul all of the equipment for church each week. Someone else is hauling it but it is still stored at our house.

    I lost it. I knew that the man had come and got it but I got mad that no one told me. No one left a message. Then in the morning the Lord spoke to me that it was not the trailer I was mad about. It was not the man the came and got it that I was mad at. I was mad at Him for allowing Steve to die. I had to confess to the Lord that I was mad and ask Him to forgive me. So after worship I went to the man that hauls the trailer now and told him that he could store it at his house from now on. That was really hard for me, but God told me to stop hanging on to the “stuff”. I was trying to control things and He showed me that I needed to release them.

    Now, my comments on Psalm 42.
    One of my all time favorite Psalms.

    The week after Steve died I did not eat…I had no hunger. I drank from the cup of water that I had poured for Steve jsut before he died. I remember just taking little sips because I did not want it to run out. I was hanging on to all I could. I cried myself to sleep if I slept. The Lord sustained me. He kept making Himself known in little details. The day Steve died I had gone to the store and saw a teacher’s aide from our boys’ school. I did not even know she lived nearby. We spoke briefly. It was not until the boys were back in school that she told me that her husband had died 5 years ago in a boating accident at the age of 39. I was amazed that the Lord brought that woman and myself to the store only hours before my husband would go home to be with the Lord. He was telling me that He knew what was going to happen and that here is someone that knows that pain I will be experiencing.

    God is amazing.

    I like how the Psalmist “remembers” God (v4,5). I think it is vital for us to remember what God has done in our lives especially in times of difficulty.

    I also love verse 11 when he answers his own question about why his soul is cast down. He says, “Hope in God, for I shall praise Him, my salvation and my God.”

    I pray that each of you find comfort not only here among others that are in the midst of suffering (or thankfully on the other side), but that you are drawn close to the Lord and truly experience His love and are strengthened by it.

      1. Dee
        Thank you for giving me this opportunity to learn from each of you and to share how the Lord is moving in my life.

        1. Barb, I am learning from YOU and your pain. Thank you for sharing your deep, deep thoughts and feelings.

    1. Barb,

      I had to stop and read your post. This moved me and encouraged me:

      “The week after Steve died I did not eat…I had no hunger. I drank from the cup of water that I had poured for Steve jsut before he died. I remember just taking little sips because I did not want it to run out. I was hanging on to all I could. I cried myself to sleep if I slept. The Lord sustained me. He kept making Himself known in little details. The day Steve died I had gone to the store and saw a teacher’s aide from our boys’ school. I did not even know she lived nearby. We spoke briefly. It was not until the boys were back in school that she told me that her husband had died 5 years ago in a boating accident at the age of 39. I was amazed that the Lord brought that woman and myself to the store only hours before my husband would go home to be with the Lord. He was telling me that He knew what was going to happen and that here is someone that knows that pain I will be experiencing.

      God is amazing.”

      1. Thank you Rebecca, I am glad that the Lord used my words to encourage you this morning.

    2. Barb–I read your words and am just amazed you are here, faithfully listening to His voice–and so real, so honest. You talked about the trailer and I thought “yes, I’d be angry too!…” But then in the next sentence you’ve already given it over to the Lord and He has shown you truth. I’m so thankful you are with us Barb.

      1. Elizabeth, the Lord truly prepared me for this season. As I look back over just the last 6 years I can see how He placed me where I needed to be. First, He got our family connected to a Bible teaching church. Then He gave me the desire and passion to be a student of His Word. The Lord led me to studies about being a good wife and what biblical submission looks like. I was able to be the wife God wanted me to be for those 6 years (we were married for 13 and the first 7 were not nearly as good). I was saturated in His Word and when disappoint comes if I stop and allow the Spirit to move within me I can hear His voice giving me good counsel. It is the stopping and listening that can be hard. Thank you for encouraging me with your words.

        1. Barb, there is something–no, it is Christ in you–it is so endearing, as I read your words I just want to hear more. Praying for you, and am thankful for you,

    3. Thank you Barb for sharing your pain and how you have experienced the Lord through it. It is very encouraging to me!

      1. Susan, I appreciate your comment and I am thankful that the Lord used my words to bring some encouragment to you today.

  25. OOps, I just saw that a portion of my text got left out…

    When I was writing about the Isaiah Scripture the Lord spoke to me inaudibly that if I was willing to get up early for my husband and spend time with him because I loved him why would I not be willing to do that for Him.

    Sorry about my error.

  26. 4. Find another causal factor to depression in verse 4.
    He is isolating, he says, “I used to go to the house of the Lord”

    5. Often, when facing a deadly D, we want to withdraw. Have you felt that way? Why is that one of the worst things you can do?
    Yes, it is easy to withdraw and stay away from people. In fact when I read “with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng”, my immediate thought is that when dealing with a deadly D I would not want to be there–I would be a drag, and no one would want me there. Left alone with my own thoughts can be a downward spiral. But the reason God gives us community is so we can be there for each other.

    7. Now, in Psalm 42:5, the psalmist does something very wise. He takes his soul in hand and asks him a question. What is it?
    Why are you so downcast/troubled?

    9. What, according to verse 5, does he tell his soul to do?
    Put your hope in God

    1. This is difficult for me…I don’t really have a time that I feel God “spoke” to me. I’ve been thinking about this for weeks now. It seems many of you have had those experiences, but I haven’t. I have been a Christian all my life. I haven’t always been as close to Him as now, but I never lost my faith in Him. I have tried to accept everything in my life as being “His” will, beginning when my father died when I was 13.

      About withdrawing from the community….I have the opposite experience going on right now. I am a talker (can you tell??), who craves being around others. Since my husband and I moved to NH 8 years ago, I have struggled to meet friends and find a church family. The people in New England are “all set” with new people coming into their communities. They aren’t very friendly compared to my “homeland” of the south! This year has been particularly difficult. I’m not sure if God is telling me that I need to be with Him and to not worry about not having friends, or what. Maybe people don’t want to be around me, I just don’t know. All I know is I feel isolated too, just like you Terri. I love my husband, but “girl” friends are so different. So, I am pressing in and enjoying learning more of God and the Bible.

      1. Your post takes me back in time. When I was about nine my aunt was teaching me and my cousins about the Bible and God. She said God wants to talk to us and I had never heard this. This was exciting news to me! More than anything I wanted to hear God speak to me and thus began a lifelong quest for Christ. Your post brought tears of joy to me b/c it reminds me wherever we are or whenever we are ready, whether we are children or adults, God wants to speak to us.
        Adult believers have asked me how to hear from God. I don’t have an answer other than my own experience as a child. I wanted God to speak and was willing to tune in to His voice. I also remember telling God I was desperate to hear from Him.
        I hope this is an encouragement to you, dear Laura. I also pray that God will bring a friend to you soon.

      2. Laura, I would encourage you take this time as a prepartion for what the Lord has planned for you. Be steeped in His Word. Totally saturate yourself in His Word and He will speak to you. He will show you want He wants of you and be ready to say, “Yes, Lord.” Maybe look into volunteering or serving in your community. There is nothing wrong with being alone with the Lord, but He did not call us to isolation for long periods. We are told in Hebrews 10 “to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Maybe those churches need a little southern charm that you have to offer??

      3. Oh Laura, I can relate so much to what you are experiencing now. Sadly, it is not only New England. I have experienced the same thing in Florida. Midday Connection did a survey and found that one of the biggest issues among listeners(it may have been the number one problem) is loneliness and isolation. And no I don’t believe that God wants us to live isolated from friends we can touch, and hug have a cup of coffee with and share girly things with. I love my husband dearly too, but our relationship is enriched when I have rich relationships with other women. Besides, how excited is he going to get when I tell him about a new recipe, or other mundane things that I love to talk about. Kind of as excited as I would get when some guy makes a hole in one!! I know that there may be seasons when all we have is our Lord, and then it is vital that we really walk closely to him, but he is the author of relationships, he is the one who said we are to be like iron sharpening iron, a cord of three strands is not easily broken, and that we should not forsake being together in church– it wasn’t just to sing and hear a sermon, we are supposed to be there to encourage one another, to spur one another on to love and good works. If church was only to hear a sermon or to sing songs, we could easily manage with just the internet sermons,or church on TV, because we have access to some great services that way. But he wants us to have community, and I am going to fervantly pray that God brings you at least one friend. I wish I was there to sit with you and have a cup of coffee and just love on you.

        1. So funny how the Lord works! After I posted this, 3 of my very dear friends who live far away emailed me, skyped with me, and called me (while on her vacation!). It was heart warming and I thought of our posts 🙂

        2. That is heart warming!!

        3. I have been thinking a lot about seasons of life, and the best advice I ever heard was to embrace the season you are in, not to live this season waiting for the next. I think that God uses the seasons of loneliness as well.

  27. 1. In Psalm 42:1-2, what is the image? What do the streams of living water that the psalmist is trying to find represent?

    A deer desperately thirsty is driven to find water-enough so that he is willing to go however far it takes to get it. The streams of living water represent the “living” God. (I found it interesting that he didn’t just leave it as, “The God, he reiterated with “The living God.”) Perhaps this says this is someone who has been in the presence of God-who has drank from Him before. Hmmm..

  28. 2. The psalmist says he is not finding God. He is like a deer dying for water who comes all the way down from the mountain and finds the riverbed dry. What water image is in verse 3? How is this a true lament?

    OH..I might be stretching this but I am thinking of a lover image-He is desperate for the presence of God. He knows God can quench his soul and bring true comfort..Something is happening though. I can’t put my finger on it. He is afraid to let go of perhaps his comfort idol, yet at the same time longs to be in the presence of God. He has found it isn’t satisfying his thirst. Maybe he hasn’t truly let go and that is why he doesn’t sense God’s presence and his thirst is growing? Perhaps this struggle is where true Lament lies?

    3. Look carefully and see if you can find hidden in this verse 3 the classic signs of depression. (weeping, not sleeping, not eating).

    Crying day and night, not eating, not sleeping, negative thoughts racing.

    4. Find another causal factor to depression in verse 4.

    He is hyper focused on himself. What He did in the past vs. where he is at now. He has withdrawn from the presence of the Lord and into the arms of his idol..I can see even more how this relates to idolatry now.

    5. Often, when facing a deadly D, we want to withdraw. Have you felt that way? Why is that one of the worst things you can do?

    Oh yes. It is my human nature to withdraw. It is bad not only because it brings destruction in my life, but more important it also grieves the heart of God and he withdraws-Yet he pursues and rescues.

  29. I need to stop, but I can’t..I just scrolled down to the water fall and the waves..Oh my. 🙂

    7. Now, in Psalm 42:5, the psalmist does something very wise. He takes his soul in hand and asks him a question. What is it?

    He asks himself why he is downcast-SO SO important. This one question opened his eyes to where he was placing his hope.

    8. For those who have been through our idolatry study, what do you think he is really asking his soul?

    Where are you placing your hope-obviously it isn’t God-so where?

    9. What, according to verse 5, does he tell his soul to do?

    Put his hope in God rather than his idol-Praise God rather than his idol-and it goes deeper-he is remembering that God is his savior. (this reminds me of the study on reflecting on the Gospel always.)

  30. 10. In verse 7 we have the famous phrase “deep calls to deep.” What water image is it paired with? What do you know about the roar of waterfalls that would go with “deep calling to deep?”

    The water image is a waterfall. The waterfall roars so loudly you can’t hear anything else. It stops the heart-silences the voice-stills the soul. One can’t deny it’s power and can’t hear anything except the roar. I see God coming in to him this way, powerfully penetrating his soul and stilling it.

  31. Dee,
    The contrast between the two pictures gave me tears in my eyes. The one with Steve was hard to see; he appears to be deep in thought, perhaps taking his soul in hand, talking with God about hard things. The black and white of the photo seems to magnify the weight of that moment; perhaps a time of being pressed. Then to look at the photo with the hammock and the sky “bathed in joyous light” it’s like taking in a deep breath of fresh air and being filled with hope. Perhaps if we never experienced sadness, we wouldn’t know the taste of joy? Yet none of us wants to willingly ask for sadness or heartbreak.
    Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  32. 10. The fourth water image is both negative and positive, though I for so long only saw it as negative. Find it in this same verse.

    A. How could this water image be negative?

    It can be viewed as destructive.

    B. Verse 7 paired with verse 8 shows how this water image could be positive. What do you see?

    I go back to the lover thing. The waves and breakers break through the stones in his heart and he submits. Kind of like when Scarlett was chasing after Ashley in Gone With The Wind and in the end after Rhett’s tireless pursuit of her, his love melted her heart and she woke up and desperately ran after him.

    I see the waves and breakers sweeping over him as deep calling to deep. Overpowering the lies and the thoughts he had before melting his heart-and eventually stilling his soul.

  33. Dee,

    You said something a while back. I wish I would have copied it down. That you want to make sure your lament has teeth so you pray the Psalms. Could you elaborate-or give an example?

    I found a great writing pad I can journal in, in my home and am going to journal again-a place where I can really pray. I want my Lament to have teeth. If I look back on my journals of old they are REALLY toothless. 🙂

      1. Thanks Dee.

      2. Oh Dee, YES..That makes sense.. Great example! I do get what you mean now by it having teeth, and come to think of it I have prayed in the ways you mentioned, but not enough. I need to be mindful more to keep my mind stayed on His word when I pray-and let it speak to the depths as your example shows-and then trust him and let go. Thanks so much..

        OH, and I loved when you said, “Hopeless, am I not?” That resonates with me. That made me smile. 🙂

        One more thing-fretting only leads to evil-so true. What help God was to you giving you that..to help you see that is the end result of fretting and so He encouraged you to refrain from it.

      3. Hits so close to home and makes sense indeed. Praying for you in this.

      4. I too am a “fixer” of friends and children and husbands and…! God is teaching me the very same, dear Dee! Trust in and pray the promises of God. Therein is the power. Take up that mighty sword and fight like the warrior I am in Christ. Otherwise it’s just fretting and fretting is powerless.

        1. I bet we can all relate to this. Dee you have shared it in a way we remember, and prayerfully, we will remember to use those teeth when we need to.

      5. Yes, I understand, Dee. It’s like Steve heard from God…”Do you trust me?” I’m trying to trust him with all my heart and let him lead me. I am thinking also of you, Laura, about your daughter. I can identify so well, as I worry so much about our disabled daughter. Kendra is like my shadow…she wants to be with me everywhere I go or whatever I do. I’ll be 62 in Aug. and my back is no better. I must dress her and shower her and feed her and tolet her and I worry constantly who will love her and take care of her as I do. I sleep with her and she had a bad siezure last night. I feel I can’t take my eye’s off of her. I feel weary and tired and must give it over to the lord each and every day/ hour/ minute. I so appreciate your advice you gave (above) on how your handling the fight within yourself, Dee, to not feel like I’m the only one who can help or do anything. I must let it go, too. Thanks

        1. Joyce, I read this and have this aching urge to come find you and help you–I really do. I am so humbled by your example. I whine all day about the tiniest of things, and you have such a tremendous load that you carry with love and grace. You help me so much, I wish there was some way to help you–but I know you would say prayers are worth more than I could give, so I pray for you Joyce, and the precious life of Kendra. He knew just who to bless her with–what joy your love for her must bring our Father 🙂

        2. Thank you, Elizabeth, I wish we were all closer to help one another, but our prayer’s for each other is the very best!

      6. Dee, that makes wonderful sense. I am in the midst of figuring out that I need to run to God honestly with all my feelings and find comfort in his word. This helps, thanks.

  34. 1. In Psalm 42:1-2, what is the image? What do the streams of living water that the psalmist is trying to find represent? God. He is wanting to be filled by God. (Often I felt like a broken vase that could not keep any water) This deer is thirsty looking for water like us looking for God yet we cannot seem to find Him.

    2. The psalmist says he is not finding God. He is like a deer dying for water who comes all the way down from the mountain and finds the riverbed dry. What water image is in verse 3? How is this a true lament? The only water found is his own tears which are his food day and night. Tears cannot satisfy a thirst they are salty so it only intensifies. Others mock where is your God?

    3. Look carefully and see if you can find hidden in this verse 3 the classic signs of depression. (weeping, not sleeping, not eating). Yes it is there, weeping, not seeing clearly, not eating, maybe no sleep cuz tears keep flowing. Cannot cry in sleep.

    4. Find another causal factor to depression in verse 4. I think it is remembering the circumstance that was how he was honored, leading, etc. Instead of remembering God. It is depressing when things are taken away that brought great joy. Oh and he used to find joy in the company of God’s people.

    5. Often, when facing a deadly D, we want to withdraw. Have you felt that way? Why is that one of the worst things you can do? YES always. But isolation gives the enemy open ground. You are not protected outside of community. There is not one there to help correct wrong thinking. That is often why I blog so openly about struggle. It is like nudging me to open up then it helps others do the same thing and encourages authenticity.

    6. If you are, indeed, withdrawing, talk to your soul and tell her some of the ways being with Christian brethren has encouraged you in the past. AMEN to this! Listening to Keller on Job and “Miserable Comforters” We need to find someone who is NOT like this it will just solidify our desire to withdraw but someone is needed who can be trusted or encouraged you in the past like you said.

    I want to tell you how you, my sisters on this blog, have come to mean a great deal to me. It is often through you that God whispers, encourages, and guides. You are a well of water into which I dip. Amen to this! I feel this so often!!

    7. Now, in Psalm 42:5, the psalmist does something very wise. He takes his soul in hand and asks him a question. What is it? Why is my soul so downcast? Why the turmoil within? Hope in God…Remember what He has done. Often I like to get something that will be a visual reminder of things God has done so when I am in this season again I remember and can keep my hope in HIM.

    8. For those who have been through our idolatry study, what do you think he is really asking his soul? What is the idol you are clinging too here? What is it? Let’s put it in it’s proper place and return to God. I have been learning to ask myself this. Trying to teach my daughter as well. She is still really struggling with anger of not being able to control the issue with her sister and special needs. This has been so helpful to me and teaching her.

    9. What, according to verse 5, does he tell his soul to do? Hope in God I will praise Him again my salvation.

    10.A. How could this water image be negative? It rolls over you violently you could drown just seeing the water.

    10.B. Verse 7 paired with verse 8 shows how this water image could be positive. What do you see? Perhaps if the water is in fact God…The water we long and thirst for-if He comes at us like that then we are consumed by HIM. That is a great positive.

    11. After the psalmist has talked to his soul, what must he do again in 42:11 and 43:5? What does this tell you? Ask his soul again why downcast and tell it to put hope in God. We must continue this until we are free from the temptation to sin.

    12-really like all the water images…waves of mercy as deep cries out to deep. Wash pain away. etc. etc. I like that. I like the image of Jesus washing us with huge waves. We feel like we are drowning but really He is covering us with HIMSELF.

    13-I just really need to ponder his rushing water flowing over me…deep calling to deep. Often we are not willing to receive the deep things until we are so dry. Interesting stuff.

    1. Angela, on #5, you said “There is not one there to help correct wrong thinking.”–as a sometimes “over-thinker” in my struggles, that was SO good–i needed that!

      1. I feel the same way, Angela, thank you for your comments…they helped me alot:)

  35. 1. The psalmist wants God desperately. Like me as a child wanting to hear God speak. I would not be put off.

    2. Tears. This reminds me of an old song, “Tears are a language God understands”. Lament is recognizing he desperately needs God, turning towards God and crying out for Him.

    4. Thinking back to the good ol’ days.

    5. Yes, when I sin I tend to move away from God. I want to hide. This is the worst thing to do b/c it invites misery. I want to stay there for awhile and feel sorry for myself but satan uses it to condemn me and tell me I’ll never overcome this behavior. One of my goals is to return quickly to God. Hurry back to Him and not give satan time to attack me further.
    7. He asks why, in light of the truth.

    8. The psalmist is questioning if there is something between him and God. Is there an underlying cause. Could there be an idol lurking?

    9. Hope in God, trust Him. He makes a choice to praise. Focusing on God is very important at this point, to his/our survival.
    What do you know about the roar of waterfalls that would go with “deep calling to deep?”

    10.A. and B. We feel like we are drowning but if we know the truth that we find God in suffering it can be a positive! It can be a way to grow in Him. Again, beauty from ashes, flowers from dirt.

    11. Like the psalmist we must keep telling ourselves out loud what is truth. I tells me we can be slow learners.

    12.Watch this and comment: The last phrase, “Nothing but your will for me, I am only free when You come!” I am really free when I trust God with ALL of my life-the good, the bad and the ugly (my idolatry).

    13. The only thing I could add is that I feel like a better prepared soldier. When the next sorrow or pain comes, and it will, I have readied myself with the truth of God through this study and that comforts me.

  36. I posted this last night, but realize I should have posted it on this weeks blog even though it is from last weeks lesson. I feel like God is renewing me and he is using many of you in the process–I want him to get the glory.
    Sunday night: I just listened to Midday from last week now.
    My take away this week is:
    God is working in my heart and bringing me to a place where I don’t just know God is there but He is softening my heart to him again. I feel like he is getting through this tough outer layer that I built up to protect myself from the hurt I was experiencing in my losses.
    I needed to hear you talk again about the detachment disorder, because though I recognized it the week before, I needed to hear it again. I am crying out to God to bring healing to my heart.

    Also, the power that the Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs have to drive out the evil spirit.
    I am so disapointed in myself. I knew these truths and when I went through a tremendous loss in 1994, it was the Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs and lamenting that God used to help me get through my loss, trusting him and coming into a deeper relationship with him. I was one who would say, Though the pain I went through was so hard, I wouldn’t trade it for anything because of how God met me during those days, and how it changed my relationship with him. Then 13 years later, when I experienced other losses, I closed my heart to the Lord.
    I contintued to go through all the motions, but with none of the heart. I could not see it.
    This study is helping me open up to the Lord again. I have turned to Him in repentence and I am so happy that he has wooed me back. That is one thing I love about the Lord, he keeps coming after us, he doesn’t give up on us.
    I thank each of you for the input you have given in my life and for the community we have here. I am also thankful that it seems my husband and I are finding community in the church we are attending now.

    1. Thank you, Terri. What you have shared here is precious. This group is a gift. Glad you are with us.

    2. Praise God for how he has worked in your life, through your trials, Terri

  37. What do you know about the roar of waterfalls that would go with “deep calling to deep?”
    This question got me to thinking about Niagara Falls and about a trip I took to Canada and the New England states with my grandmother when I was sixteen. I remember learning about the negative ions. I looked it up to refresh my memory and found this:
    The negative ions (don’t let the name fool you, they’re good-guys) at Niagara Falls created by the falling water produce the largest source of negative ions in the world. A medical doctor published a book several years ago called, “The Ion Effect” confirming this fact. In the book he says you can’t help but feel romantic and happy when you’re near the falls. It’s much like walking in a light rain, visiting the beach or taking a sauna. Millions of people choose Niagara Falls to “pop the question”.
    I only know when I visit the Niagara and listen to it’s roar, I recognize the hugeness of God as well as the safety in Him.
    When I was 4 years old I followed my older brother when he jumped from our boat, coming in from a day on the water, to the dock. My legs weren’t as long as his and I didn’t make it. Someone looked up and saw me go under between the dock and the boat just in time to lift me out. God has been saving me over and over down through the years and I am so grateful!

    1. Thank you so much for saving Kim, Lord, for she brings us so much and helps us learn about you!

      1. Thank you, Joyce you are sweet.

    2. Kim, thanks for looking that up. It is so interesting.

  38. 6. If you are, indeed, withdrawing, talk to your soul and tell her some of the ways being with Christian brethren has encouraged you in the past.

    I had a big long spiel here, but I erased it. Withdrawing is an easy path for me to go down, and I have experienced depression off and on, so I know the danger of it. What I must remind my soul, is that He created us to be together. It is not good for man to be alone, right? And He is IN the fellowship. Now I have experienced a few times words said from believers during those tender raw times in my life, that stung—they were thoughtless words, maybe meant to help, but hurt instead. But far more often, I have known the healing balm of fellowship. When we moved over 1000 miles from all family and friends, the search for a church home was grueling. But I remember the first Sunday in our current church here, I didn’t know a soul, but we sang “Jesus, Lover Of My Soul’—all acoustic like we did back home, and my husband and I both shed immediate tears. It was the healing balm of fellowship, in music. Prayers, music, hearing His word spoken, it is our lifeline, our Living Water. I think of how Barb mentioned her husband’s cup of water—not wanting it to go out, but wanting a taste of him—and how fellowship is that drink from Christ—and it will never run out. Sometimes, in times of great pain, it really is too hard to go. I think of Dee and the Christmas party of couples after Steve died. But she went home to be with Him, bathe in His Word—so He had said you don’t have to do this yet. I have felt that before. But most often in my life, I know it is the Enemy, who wants to cut me off from the very source of life, and let me shrivel up in my own lies. And that, is often the push I need, to go!

    7. Now, in Psalm 42:5, the psalmist does something very wise. He takes his soul in hand and asks him a question. What is it?
    Why are you downcast, O my soul..why so disturbed within me?

    8. For those who have been through our idolatry study, what do you think he is really asking his soul?

    Oh this was so helpful Dee! I have often thought of that verse to myself—in times of gloominess, depression. But I didn’t go further—“what one thing have you made an epi-desire? What has become more important to me than God? what is that good thing that I have made an ultimate thing—and I think I cannot live without?”

    9. What, according to verse 5, does he tell his soul to do?

    Put your hope in God, praise Him, remember Him.

    10. What water image is it paired with? What do you know about the roar of waterfalls that would go with “deep calling to deep?”

    Waterfalls. I haven’t seen big waterfalls, but even the small ones, I know you can’t hear anything over the sound of the water. They are all encompassing.

    10. The fourth water image is both negative and positive, though I for so long only saw it as negative. Find it in this same verse.

    A. How could this water image be negative?
    Engulfing, can cause drowning and be life-taking

    B. Verse 7 paired with verse 8 shows how this water image could be positive. What do you see?
    Inescapable—when waves sweep over you, you cannot NOT get wet.

    11. After the psalmist has talked to his soul, what must he do again in 42:11 and 43:5? What does this tell you?
    He asked again—why are you so downcast…disturbed…and reminds himself to put his hope in Him.
    We must continually check ourselves—our idols, and continually remind ourselves to put our hope in Him.
    “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name”

      1. oh he is a precious treasure -and I mean that with all my heart. I asked him before sharing the mental illness piece, and he wanted me to–he went through such abuse as a child, and it definitely caused us years of pain (I clearly had my “baggage” too!), but I can honestly say I do not know personally of a more humble man than my husband. His rage outbursts were severe to the point he threatened suicide at times…but after years of counseling, he was the one who recognized the need for medication, and has willingly taken it. He believes God has rescued him–breaking the cycle of abuse in his family with him. We are the first known and only believers in his family. Sorry to go so long, but I feared after writing of his struggles, that I belittled him in someway. He is such a tender sweet godly warrior–thank you for letting me share! 🙂

        1. Loved you sharing that about your husband, Elizabeth..he sounds like such a special, wonderful man.

        2. Elizabeth, Loved this. He does seem like such a humble man and the love God has given you both for Him and for each other is an encouragement to me. 🙂

  39. 12. Watch this and comment on it. What images from Psalm 42 do you find? Other thoughts?
    The water never ceases—a fountain is constantly coming forth with new water. The water reflects the light above—Jesus. And there is no end to it-limitless.
    He comes to us—He pursues, He comes and He frees. Deep calls to deep—He calls to us.
    13. Any other thoughts from Psalm 42? Application?

    I preface by saying, I’m definitely not a writer! But, I wanted to personalize psalm 42 for myself because I love the cycle it shows of, it models this journey we have take so well.

    Lord, in the same way that the deer leaps to the water, focused on drinking it in, letting it seep into their body, and replenish the soul, I want You, my King.

    In my struggle and pain I thirst for You. Having known sadness and grief, I have cried until I felt I would faint. My eyes have been raw and red, weary for rest that I could not find. Others have asked why is this happening to me, what did I do to cause this?

    But I will remember what it feels like to be in fellowship with other believers, with You. I will remind myself of the joy found in praising You, in gratitude.

    I ask myself, Why are you so depressed? What have you placed on the throne of your heart, the throne which only belongs to Christ?

    Hold steadfast to the hope you believe, for He is faithful, and worthy to be praised
    You call to me in the depths of my darkness. You pursue me. You find me. You engulf me with Your mercy, Your love. Your song is with me.

    When the cycle begins again and I have forgotten the Truth, I question why such pain? I will again in the cycle of repentance, recognize my idol, and look to what is more beautiful—only You. And I will again put my hope in You, praise You, my Savior and my God.

    1. Elizabeth, that was beautifully written…thank you for sharing your heart.

      1. Thank you Barb–I appreciate your encouraging words 😉

  40. Dee, I am stirred by your picture of Steve. I have been waiting to see if the words would come to describe what I sense there. When I read Psalm 42 just now, there were the words! The desire for God opposed by the desire to stay with you and his family overwhelming his pain and weakness. Turmoil within. Waves and billows washing over. It is incredible!

  41. Dee I must tell you that I have read this chapter in your book several times. Many times at night when my spirit is especially anxious (looking on the other side and seeing an empty bed) I read your words and then cry myself to sleep.

    The psalmist and I have much in common; he needs to feel God’s presence. The storm of grief and depression has made me long to feel God.
    V3 – His anguish results in constant tears; he is too depressed to eat or sleep.
    V4 – being cut off from the fellowship and comfort of other believers – isolation
    Q5 – Right now I am living in isolation, but thank God I am also slowly beginning to sense God’s presence in others. I have joined this wonderful fellowship and I am also in Griefshare. In the earliest days of my grief ‘the fog’ (extreme shock and pain made it impossible to function). Now I admit I have voluntarily withdrawn from many of my friends and family, because I do not want to see them moving on with their lives, while I struggle daily to deny what my heads knows is a reality. As Chris S. said last week; my children and I will not see my husband again while we are on earth.

    Q6: However, along this journey my church as sent me a wonderful Stephen minister – a sister in Christ who has stayed by my side. I also have the company of godly sister widows who are also choosing to walk this journey again with me. I would be totally isolated if God had not sent me these blessings. Finally, in Griefshare I have met a godly sister-widow. Our journeys have been similar and both our husbands even served in the army. We have forged a bond. I look forward to sitting with her each week; we hug and cry and hold hands during the difficult parts of the video. We know God put us in the class together, because I went to one class and quit, because it was too painful to be with others.

    Q7 – the psalmist asks “Why am I downcast” – what has made my spirit anguished. He then reminds himself to Trust God. The process of becoming anguished and then speaking to his soul must be repeated over and over again.

    This lesson speaks to the heart of my anguish —Will I let go and trust God? I am like you were Dee; if someone suggests moving on and tells me I am going to be well; I probably will feel the urge to kick them. I have made the decision to trust God to give me what I need one day at a time that is as much as my anguished spirit can handle at this point.

    Dee I am praying for a blessed fellowship with your son this week. Love to all of you for posting some wonderful music.

    1. So glad to hear you are making friends and getting help, Silverlene…still praying for you.

  42. Thank you so much for your words on Midday Connection today!! You really spoke to me and had me thinking of how your words and bible passages you mentioned would help me and my friends!!! I plan taking part in your online bible study and visiting your lovely site again!!! You have lit a fire in my soul that I needed rekindled!!!
    Thanks again and God bless you and your family!!!
    Roxy from TN

    1. Hi Roxy! Welcome! So glad to have you join us! 🙂

    2. Love to have you join us Roxy, you will be loved and prayed for here:)

    3. For some reason I can’t find the midday connection for this past Monday on the Midday website? Was it removed? The past programs have the 12th and the 19th only.

      1. I see Dee posted another link…sorry 🙂

  43. Getting lost in reading everyone’s insight..SO GOOD. Forgot where I left off. That is another thing about the community of believers here-God gives you all such great insight. I always learn something. This morning it was Angela’s remark on God covering us with Himself..I see that as a positive image for the video of the wave crashing. 🙂

  44. 11. After the psalmist has talked to his soul, what must he do again in 42:11 and 43:5? What does this tell you?

    Ask himself again why his soul is downcast and to put his hope in God. He is meditating on the truth. He is replacing the lies with the truth in his head. He is ‘renewing his mind’. I must do that too-constantly speak truth to our souls.

    12. Watch this and comment on it. What images from Psalm 42 do you find? Other thoughts?

    The waves are God’s mercy washing over him taking away his pain and sorrow. Beautiful. I like the reference to those who are thirsty and weak..That is how it feels. The Psalmist was so distressed he was weak in soul and in body and God came and washed his mercy over him comforting him..The phrase “nothing but your love for me, I am only free when you come Lord Jesus.” speaks of God coming to Him in his distress.

    I was wondering if this Psalm was a Chiastic or Parallel structure–can’t tell but I think I might not have to know to figure out the crux of it is perhaps either verse 8 or both 7 and 8?

    7 Deep calls to deep
    in the roar of your waterfalls;
    all your waves and breakers
    have swept over me.

    8 By day the LORD directs his love,
    at night his song is with me—
    a prayer to the God of my life.

    I don’t think it is a ‘one time’ or a ‘few times’ kind of thing. Even though I am not in high tide grief as this Psalmist is, his soul is speaking where I am at in the fears and the struggles I encounter daily.

    I see an intent here of repeatedly coming to God. I need to constantly be drinking Him in. While God covers my pain and brings healing in times of high tide grief, I think the basic human condition can be painful and God wants to daily bathe me in his love.

  45. 11. I wanted to add to #11 but ran out of time on edit.

    This is what I am having to do with this ridiculous fear thing. I am weary of it. But Satan IS attacking me from all sides, and because of my lifestyle of being needed and interrupted in my thoughts most the time, it is hard to speak truth to my soul and remember so I MUST, MUST be in the word daily..MUST! I get lazy with speaking truth to my soul. The battle is the Lord’s.
    I was so encouraged by telling myself the truth and by your encouragement here I was dying to go sing the two songs I am working on and then Satan finds a way to attack from another angle and steals my joy..I mean thoughts I hadn’t had before come rushing in. I guess for me as silly as it sounds, it is my high tide battle right now.

    I rehearse Wed. night and sing this Sunday around 11:30-11:45. Pray for Satan to be bound and for God to be my confidence-also that I would see it realistically-the truth..The song is the power of God ministering to everyone there. mostly brothers and sisters in the Lord and someone needs to hear this song. It isn’t about ME.

      1. Thank you so much!

    1. When I began playing the piano or singing on the praise team for church years ago, I asked God what to do with my fears. Like you, the devil played havoc with me. I went to the Word and asked for a specific verse or phrase to memorize and claim/stand on. On this journey to freedom I found I had to say the scripture out loud, sort of like the psalmist had to speak truth to his soul. It became a powerful weapon in defending myself from fear. I also said out loud some truths like “When I am afraid I will trust in God, Jesus is my never failing friend” or “I am victorious in Christ” etc. Eventually I could feel the strengthening of the Holy Spirit rise within me and once you feel that rising up you know that you know the enemy is defeated! The devil got tired of being defeated and moved on. I hope this helps. He will enable you to do what He has called you to do. That’s a promise you can take to the spiritual bank.

    2. Praying for you, Rebecca. HE IS ATTACKING YOU BECAUSE YOU LOVE HIM SO MUCH AND GIVE SO MUCH OF YOURSELF TO JESUS. Listen and sing alot of praise songs to keep him from attacking you.

      1. I meant…you love Jesus so much!

    3. writing it down Rebecca–you’ll be covered sweet sister–just wish we could be there! 😉

    4. Oh sweet Rebecca I am praying too. I understand this fear. I feel it too when I get up in front of others. Praying God will shine beautifully through you as you minister in His name. Praying that the helmet of salvation will keep out any thought that isn’t Christ centered.

    1. You know, I was thinking the whole Psalm was chiastic but thought maybe it was parallel-not sure. I was thinking Verse 7 and 8 were the crux like the center-the focal point of the whole passage. What God wants us to really meditate on. BUT now that you mentioned it I DO see some kind of Chiasm in 7 and 8.

      I wouldn’t have thought to go back to the cross in those verses-but if that is the focal point..oh my..

      O.k. here is what I see. The A’s go together-He is praying-communing with God-and God is responding-Deep calls to Deep. B’s match because it speaks of How God’s love is pouring over him day and night. He is His salvation from his pain and misery.

      Verse7. A. Deep calls to Deep/roar of your waterfalls
      B. All your waves & breakers/swept over
      Verse8. B. By Day the Lord/night his song is with me.
      A. A prayer to the God of my life.

      The crux or the focal point of Psalm 42 could be the ‘B’s.. “All your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs His love, at night his song is with me.”

      This totally points to the cross and the Gospel. I am struggling with how to phrase how the Gospel fits in in one concise sentence, but what is new? 😉 Could someone help?

    1. Dee, This is really good. “As God stirs the stormy waves He commands His steadfast kindness..So she sees His mighty waves as hesed..I am looking up hesed..

  46. I apologize for how the structure looks. There is a way to write them out so they are understandable which I did, but it didn’t take the way i wrote it out. 🙂

  47. So here we go with the Gospel..Dee, Let me know if this is right. Hesed is “steadfast love and lovingkindness”-a faithful love. Covenant love.

    Psalm 23:6
    “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.”

    So here is the truth I speak to my soul based on the focal point of Psalm 42 which screams of God’s love and faithfulness which was poured over me when He was dying on the cross-certainly for my salvation but it continues throughout my life with Him. I am His child and I am in a covenant with Him-HE COVERED ME WITH HIS WAVES WHEN I CAME TO KNOW HIM AND HE WILL BE FAITHFUL-HE WILL COVER ME WITH HIS WAVES AND BREAKERS day and night-HE wants to-He delights in it. This doesn’t just stop after we become his child-quite the contrary-it grows deeper, but I think the climax is when we die and are face to face with him-hence our hope.

      1. WOW! I didn’t realize all the connections in scripture to suffering, water, Hesed and His faithfulness. Wow..A lot to chew on, yet really pretty simple.

        For me right now, fear shouldn’t consume-Because of his Hesed-I am not consumed-His waters of mercy are new every day as I walk through this. I have Lamented to him in my journal yesterday and He is coming to me here on this blog this morning with the teeth of the truth. I think my struggle partly stems from my history with anxiety as Ann VosKamp also struggles with. Kim posted about it here, and Ann said that she prays through it..She experiences his Hesed as she is walking in it and His mercies wash over her and she isn’t consumed.