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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. Kim, I just read your encouragement in my e-mail box. Thanks SO MUCH!!!

  2. I was just sharing this with my husband and he gave me Romans 8! Even in the times I have failed-ran to my idol and drew back from Him, well, here is Romans 8:38-39-

    “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

  3. I am really busy right now, Thank you to all who prayed about my job situation, I have an offer as an event planner at a local winery, planning weddings and reunions and such. I am so glad for this opportunity.
    Monday will mark one year since Daniel was injured. We are taking a family trip and will be spending a week at the beach.
    I will try to keep up, but will have no internet access where we will be staying.

    I listened to and was blessed by the Midday program, I thought of the psalmist having his tears for food contrasted with the image of God collecting them. How much better to give our grief to Him, instaed of storing it up inside ourselves which reminded me of a hymn my Mom used to sing;

    1. What a friend we have in Jesus,
    all our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    everything to God in prayer!
    O what peace we often forfeit,
    O what needless pain we bear,
    all because we do not carry
    everything to God in prayer.

    2. Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged;
    take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Can we find a friend so faithful
    who will all our sorrows share?
    Jesus knows our every weakness;
    take it to the Lord in prayer.

    3. Are we weak and heavy laden,
    cumbered with a load of care?
    Precious Savior, still our refuge;
    take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In his arms he’ll take and shield thee;
    thou wilt find a solace there.

    Love to all of you!

    1. Chris, how wonderful that you have this job. It sounds like fun. Wineries are such beautiful places, at least the ones I have seen. I will pray for you and also that you have a blessed time at the beach. May it be healing and refreshing.

    2. That is one of my all time favorites, Chris. I will be praying for your trip and that you and your family can try and find some closure and share special memories of Daniel.

    3. Chris, I will be praying for you especially Monday and next week also–so thankful you will be able to be away and with family, I pray it will be replenishing for you.

      1. Chris, Thanks so much for reminding us of a beautiful old hymn. I will be praying for your family’s peace this week.

  4. LISTEN TO KELLER’S FREE SERMON ON PSALM 42 AND RECORD YOUR THOUGHTS. I like the example he gave of being baseball players… also he elaberated some on Psalm 42..

    My tears have been my food day and night.. i understand it better now.. it means that you have not eaten anything and all you have done is cry. This really put it perspective for me

  5. I listened to Midday Connection this evening. I remember that we must expect pain because it is a part of life. Jesus saved us not only from the wrath of God but also from despair when life is hard. The temptation is to rely on feelings which ebb and flow but the truth is that God never moves. I love the song:Everything Moves But You (shared in last post). I so enjoyed Amy singing this song at the end but I could not hear all of the words, so I went and got them.

    It came upon the midnight clear,
    That glorious song of old,
    From angels bending near the earth,
    To touch their harps of gold:
    “Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
    From heavens all gracious King!”
    The world in solemn stillness lay
    To hear the angels sing.

    Still through the cloven skies they come,
    With peaceful wings unfurled;
    And still their heavenly music floats
    O’er all the weary world:
    Above its sad and lowly plains
    They bend on hovering wing,
    And ever o’er its Babel sounds
    The blessed angels sing.

    O ye beneath life’s crushing load,
    Whose forms are bending low,
    Who toil along the climbing way
    With painful steps and slow;
    Look now, for glad and golden hours
    Come swiftly on the wing;
    Oh rest beside the weary road
    And hear the angels sing.

    For lo! the days are hastening on,
    By prophets seen of old,
    When with the ever-circling years
    Shall come the time foretold,
    When the new heaven and earth shall own
    The Prince of Peace, their King,
    And the whole world send back the song
    Which now the angels sing.

    This verse reminds me of what the Lord spoke to Meg about the best yet to come.
    Look now, for glad and golden hours
    Come swiftly on the wing;

    And this is so beautiful. We shall own Him, our King and resound the song which now the angels sing.

    When the new heaven and earth shall own
    The Prince of Peace, their King,
    And the whole world send back the song
    Which now the angels sing.

  6. About the Midday Program:
    I liked you quoted, See the image of the Psalm and read it like a lover and slow down.

    I also thought about how I am more of a melancholy personality and did not like that about myself but I cannot change it. I suffer off and on with depression at times. I felt like God spoke to me about being okay with how He made me. He needs the people with this personality to really write the lament and help people know it is okay to do this….wow that connected deeply.

    Love indellible grace interview. I am loving their music. Thanks for introducing them. He is right people want authentic and real.

    I also like what you said about depression and getting help. I do not understand the stigma either but God has always had me be open about it and uses that to help and encourage others.

    Deep calls to deep and you said the thing about the quote of falling down a well and His love is deeper still He will catch you. I just want to weep at God’s faithfulness in this, When I was twelve I learned about what Jesus did for me. I loved Him dearly and I had a hard time thinking and letting Jesus die for me. I did not feel worth it. (prob cuz I am not but He thinks so) Anyway, that night as a God gave me a dream and a visual of many people going over a deep and tall waterfall. All were in barrells plummeting to their death. Then it was my turn I was so afraid and went over but God’s big bright hand came out and caught me falling. He lifted me up and said, I will never leave you or forsake you. I woke up and knew it was okay to accept what He did for me. I did not know the words were Scripture at the time which relate to God’s faithfulness and then now realizing the waterfall and deep calling to deep that is what God has done. How more meaningful it is to me. Life has been hard. I can see what God has been doing though. He is faithful. I love that so much. Thanks so much for your words!

    Oh and the note from Steve to Annie! So sweet. What amazing timing it was found.

    Love the word pic of the deer you saw prostrate like and that is how God wants us prostrate before Him.

    1. Such a beautiful dream, Angela, that God gave you then.

        1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WXplPHrfgU

          This is the youtube link to the song! HA HA! thanks for sharing this! Funny!

  7. ICEBREAKER,
    I’ve been avoiding doing my icebreaker for some reason. Not because I don’t want to share some intimate, personal area of my life but because I don’t think I want to admit it to myself. The fact is I don’t know if there was ever a time I felt the deep voice of God speak to my soul. I have felt God’s presence, His love, and His calm, but I have never felt His voice… I think. What I keep thinking about is a dream I once had, where in the dream I knew I was with Christ. I can’t see, and all I can remember is the word “easy” and the feeling of divine tranquility. In the dream, I kept saying, “Jesus is so easy…” over and over again. Like God was trying to tell me that I make it too hard. I just need to hand things over and let Him take it. All my fears had melted away and I remember, in the dream, thinking death is ok. I wanted to be with Him. It was so enlightening and what I’ve known all along. God is the easy way. I have always thought that I have to be better or how can I do this? It’s a daunting task to try to mimic yourself like Christ. But Jesus is easy.

    1. I don’t know why, but your post reminded me of a time when my daughter was 6 or so. We were listening to the song by Eric Clapton called “Tears From Heaven,” about his 3 year old son falling from a high rise to his death. My daughter wanted to now what the song was about so I told her the story. She replied to me, “He’s (the boy) lucky!” I said, “Why?” She said, “Because he gets to meet Jesus.” Her thought brought tears to my eyes then and now. I know this is secular music, but in the end he does recognize that peace comes. Here’s his lament:

      Would you know my name
      If I saw you in heaven?
      Would it be the same
      If I saw you in heaven?

      I must be strong
      And carry on
      ‘Cause I know, I don’t belong
      Here in heaven

      Would you hold my hand
      If I saw you in heaven?
      Would you help me stand
      If I saw you in heaven?

      I’ll find my way
      Through night and day
      ‘Cause I know, I just can’t stay
      Here in heaven

      Time can bring you down
      Time can bend your knees
      Time can break your heart
      Have you begging please, begging please

      Beyond the door
      There’s peace, I’m sure
      And I know there’ll be no more
      Tears in heaven

      Would you know my name
      If I saw you in heaven?
      Would it be the same
      If I saw you in heaven?

      I must be strong
      And carry on
      ‘Cause I know, I don’t belong
      Here in heaven

  8. 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?

    The image that the psalmist portrays is yearning. I think of one being so utterly dry that the thought of water is exhausting, taunting, and out of reach. The relationship with have with our God is like getting a little taste of the most refreshing and satisfying water; living water. He provides, and satisfies. After that taste, we long for Him. Our soul craves our God like our body craves water.

    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 water image comes from the psalmist’s tears. Verse 3 says, “My tears have been my food day and night…” This is an overstatement of his grief of the separation and absence he feels from his Lord.

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

    I can see the weeping, not sleeping, and not eating. I can also see that his thoughts are consumed with his tragedy; being without his God. I find this another symptom of depression, where your thoughts are held captive by your problem, heartbreak, or crisis. Even as you try to find normalcy, it’s easy for your thoughts to stray away and center again on your misfortune. I find even as I have grown up I still find myself thinking about my difficult childhood and my parents fighting. Why do these thoughts crawl back?

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

    He has the memory of what once was. That is the worst of all. The memory of the wonderful times that are now no more, and the search to make it that way again.

    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?

    There are many reasons: mistaking needing help for weakness, embarrassment or shame, denial, anger (a big reason), and jealousy of other’s situations. I have felt all these. I told myself a long time ago that I needed NO ONE and I can take care of myself. I mean, my mother couldn’t right, my dad … no thank you so… I will be what I need. I also tried to hide that fact that I was hurt, and as long as I never spoke it out loud, I honestly felt ok. For a long time, ten years, I never told anyone about my family dysfunction; the domestic abuse, alcoholism, and fear. Not even my close, best friends. I pretended like it wasn’t there and we were great, and it worked for as long as I lived here, until one night it just came out. I had no idea why I told my new boyfriend (who is now my wonderful husband) but we were on the phone and I just blurted it out, “My mom drinks.” Once I got it out and really talked about everything, I felt so angry. I was angry at myself for letting it slip, angry at God, angry at my mother and father, and angry at all the wonderful parents I had met throughout the years that I never had. My boyfriend suggested I go to counseling at the church just to talk about it once a week because that responsibility was weighing heavily on our relationship, and so I did. I never realized such freedom I found I could have. The counselor helped me to understand the sin that was paid; even my mother’s sin. I felt so free and now I can talk about my mother’s alcoholism without wanting to gag.

    I learned a valuable lesson from all that, and I believe that Ken and I would not be as close as we are today if we hadn’t of gone through that together like we did. I learned that you lean on the ones you love because it doesn’t have to be that hard.

    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 it, “why are you so downcast, 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?

    I haven’t been through the idolatry study but I would love some comment on this. Do you think that the distress in his soul is used as an idol? I am not sure what that would look like.

    1. I love learning from you, d*i*l! Great answers. I know who to call when I am stumped. Glad you have the internet now. That will make the study so much easier.

    2. Melody–I was just re-reading what you wrote in #5 and my heart was just too heavy to not respond. While all our stories are very different, I sense some similarities in mine and yours. All I want to say is I am praying for you. It’s so good you have a tender, godly husband (Kim’s son!) who you can share your pain with–that has been vital for both my husband and I. But I also wanted to say we continued counseling for a LONG time. I know you’ve mentioned it, and maybe you’re still doing that. We had different seasons where things would pop up and it was really helpful to have a neutral, godly source to get clarity, and healing. And there are many great books that have helped–Boundaries is one. I also honestly found a lot of help in Adult Children of Alcoholic books, although secular.
      Sorry to go so long–just wanted you to know you are heard and being prayed for 😉

      1. Thank you Elizabeth. Encouraging words really do wonders. My husband and I have not sought counseling together, although I have gone alone, and I know that we need it as a couple. It becomes exhausting to even visit the subject, though. I suppose that’s why we haven’t. My mother’s alcoholism has affected him as well and he feels angry and protective of me. He had even agreed we need godly counsel, too.
        I appreciate your prayers. It is such a strange relationship with my family. We have to be very careful about things we say and how much we share so as to not put ourselves in too vulnerable a position. I am grateful to have such a supportive “in-law” family. I almost think of it as God has blessed me with the family that I never had, and sometimes I get to be a child again and feel that kind of love. Kim is such a mother to me. She teaches me, and lets me be a kid at her house where she makes me cookies and we watch movies. Before I would think of my parents with such anger and hatred. I know that God is working and there is healing because I can now stand to be around them and I sometimes actually enjoy our visits. I know that someday I will be able to look upon my mother with love and gratefulness of having her as my mom. God is just going to have to get us there. Slowly….

        1. I’m just so glad you’re here, Melody. I relate to you in many ways–I read your words and almost feel like you are a little sister I never had! But there is HOPE, and I can hear you know that…it can be a long and painful journey though, but He has you, He’s carrying you through it–and has blessed you with support. I really will continue to pray for you in all of this…

  9. Psalm 42:
    1) The image is the streams of water. Streams of living water represent our relationship with the living God. Our soul thirsts for that relationship with Him.

    2)The water image is tears both day and night. It is a true lament because he is crying out to God both day and night and finds no relief. He feels abandoned, “Where are you God?”

    3) The classic sign of depression is “my tears have been my food day and night.” He is not eating or sleeping; he is crying continually.

    4)He has stopped fellowship with other believers and is no longer singing praises to God. He is withdrawing and isolating himself.

    5)Yes – For me when I went through hospice with each of my parents I sometimes wanted to withdraw because I was afraid if I went to church people would ask questions and then I would start crying. I didn’t always want to cry in front of people. It’s one of the worst things you can do because you isolate yourself from fellow believers who can encourage you in the faith. It opens the door for the enemy to speak lies to you.

    6) As I think about these past events, I am reminded that not only the words of Christian brethren have helped and encouraged me but their hugs have too. I think we sometimes forget the power of human touch. Sometimes there are no words to say but just that hug from a fellow believer can give you the strength to put one foot in front of the other. Christian friends also are good at not allowing you to isolate yourself. They call you, visit you, or send cards to remind you of God’s love for you. I suppose that’s why God said it was not good for man to be alone. We need each other to help ward off the enemy.

    1. Hi Janice, welcome! You are right when you say: Streams of living water represent our relationship with the living God. I hadn’t thought of it in quite that way but I can see sometimes it’s a turbulent ocean other times is crystal clear, sometimes placid like a calm river.

  10. Melody, thank you for being so brave and open with your past. The Lord lead you to a wonderful husband and in-laws! (Kim!) You are so young and yet so wise!

    1. Thank you! As I told my mother-in-law the other day, I had a hard time relating to this study I felt because I thought nothing truly tragic has happened to me. But when I start typing, things just come out! Its amazing what you think you are ok with when you really still need healing.

    1. That is a great question, and a hard question. It could be Satan, our enemy, who we know is the “accuser of the brethren”, trying to dredge up the past to discourage us, to get our eyes off of Jesus, to make us feel inadequate and hoping to render us useless for God. Perhaps to convince us that we are destined to make the same mistakes instead of believing God that with Him, we can build a home with a new and solid foundation and He will help us to walk in a new way.

      1. You are so wise Susan. The last time I tried to answer one of these hard questions, I told myself I wouldn’t try again! But, it did make me think Melody, of how Dee had said don’t waste our laments. I’m so sorry for your painful memories–I used to pray for God to take those away myself, and only give me happy ones of my Dad. But as I’ve done this study, I can see how God uses our sufferings to draw us to Him–I will pray that for you.

        1. Susan,
          I do not even know what I want to reply. I just love what you said and it brings tears to my eyes. Thank you everyone for teaching me so much through my own admissions.

  11. OH MY!!! LOVE KELLER’S SERMON SO FAR THIS MORNING! This is so true!

  12. Had to pause to say this: I remember when I went through my horrible “D” of anxiety and depression as a single and a Christian for only 5 or so years, I doubted I was really a believer. It was a horrible season of dryness and I didn’t do anything wrong-it just came on me..Then I go through dryness again many years later and came here to this online study where I found a well from God to drink from. O.K. continuing to listen to the sermon now. 🙂

  13. Let me introduce myself as Lynn. I am brand-new to an on-line study and have never posted a comment to a Blog, so I’m not sure how to do so.

    I’ve been following along on my own but haven’t been as thorough reading others’ blog comments yet, but I believe the Lord led me to this study.

    Having lost my dear mother a few years ago, I still have a tender spot due to that loss and try to be open to reach out to others dealing with a loss. Also, our church is going through a difficult transition between pastors, and we do not currently have a Ladies’ Bible study group this season.

    I listened to Monday’s Midday connection on Tuesday evening. Earlier that evening I’d spoken to my brother who is still dealing with the loss of his wife 7 months ago. I had shared with him the verse from Hebrews 12 about “such a great cloud of witnesses.” Then when I heard Dee use it about the illustration of the note on their daughter’s wedding day, I felt like it was confirmation that what I’d shared with my brother was worthwhile.

    Also with the water images, I’ve been realizing if circumstances are causing me to feel spiritually dehydrated, I need to be sure to drink deep of the water myself so I can help draw others to the Living Water.

    Hopefully I can follow along better as I get adjusted to an on-line study (which I’ve never participated in before)

    1. Lynn,
      I am so glad that you found this study to “fill in the gap” right now since your church is in transition and isn’t currently having a ladies’ group – we all welcome you and know you will find help for that tender spot in your heart; Dee is so right, a mother is irreplaceable.

    2. Welcome Lynn, so glad to have you!

      1. Lynn, I read this earlier and didn’t have a chance to respond. Welcome!! I too struggled a bit with the online thing at first. For me it was the privacy thing. I am skittish about opening up online. But I realized since I use only my first name it is o.k. and God is greater. 🙂

    3. Welcome Melody Lynn!

    4. Welcome fellow Melody!

    5. Welcome Lynn!

  14. This was great! I learned a lot from this sermon. I liked the three things he mentioned as possible causal factors of spiritual dryness: Disruption of community-I get now why the Psalmist reflected back on the fellowship with others in the past and how he went to the temple and worshiped God. He was out of fellowship with other believers. That can lead us down that path. We can’t walk in our life in Christ alone.

    Also Disillusionment on the events of life and physical issues-no sleep-not eating-tired etc..They can all play into it.

    I liked the four things we can do: Pour out our soul, analyze our hopes, remember the grace of God and learn how to preach to my heart.

    O.K. this was the best part- in preaching to my heart: Read Psalm 42 and 43- Read it and hear the one who said “my God, My God, why have your forsaken me.” Jesus WAS REALLY forsaken by God. WHY? SO DESPITE OUR FAILURES, DESPITE OUR INADEQUACIES GOD WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON ME. GOD TREATED HIM, PUNISHED HIM, GAVE HIM THE THINGS WE DESERVE SO WE CAN RECEIVE HIS COMMITMENT, HIS LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY. If I tell this to my soul, I will pull out of the dryness.

  15. 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?

    The image is of the deer panting or longing for the water; he is searching for it, wanting to quench his thirst. The psalmist’s soul is also panting, longing for God; his soul thirsts for God. Yet in these first two verses, neither has found the water he seeks; it is dry, barren. The streams of living water represent that close intimacy, that close communion with God that will feed and water the soul.
    I like that the psalmist is not asking God for anything but wants God for Himself.

    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 psalmist’s tears are the water image in verse 3. Tears are hardly the thing to satisfy a deep thirst; yet he says they have been his food day and night. Tears can be bitter and salty. He laments over his weeping and that those around him mock him with the words, “Where is your God?” He feels abandoned by God right now.

    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 says he is crying day and night (“my tears….day and night”). He is awake all night as he is weeping also at night so he can’t sleep. He says his tears have been his food, so he isn’t able to eat; has no appetite for food.

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

    Looking back to when things were good; “These things I remember…For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God.” The things the psalmist loved seem to have been taken from him in the present moment. He can only look back now with longing and ache for what once was. The psalmist is isolated but it may not be because he wants to be; it could be due to his circumstances.

    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?

    I find that when I withdraw from others, it is when a feeling of sadness or depression is also accompanied by feeling sorry for myself, self-pity. Then I go into the downward spiral of “no one likes me, no one cares about me, no one understands my pain…”
    It is one of the worst things I can do because I just cut myself off from God and people who do love and care about me and get into a pity-party and I feel even worse, and it leaves me wide open to being attacked by the enemy with his lies.

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

    I’m not withdrawing right now; but I look back to the fall just after I lost my nephew. It was the first time I didn’t sign up for a Bible study at church. I just didn’t feel like it. Then four months later, Dee began her first online study through God of All Comfort, and I joined in. It was during that study that I began to deal with my pain and anger and questions and I had so much love and support from Dee and the other women on the blog. I really hadnt made much progress when I was trying to go it alone.

    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 his soul, “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me?”
    I think it is like he is asking his soul, “What is the lie you have believed that you have become so distressed?”

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

    What have you made more important than God that you would feel such despair that it has been taken away?

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

    He tells his soul to hope in God. He reassures his soul that he will again be praising God. That reminds me of one of Keller’s sermons where a woman he knew said this: “When I’m in church and in worship and what Jesus did for me is so real, so wonderful…in my heart, I think of the men in my life and I say, I’m glad to know you and I wouldn’t mind being married, but you are not my life. Jesus is my life.”
    I think praise and hope go together.

  16. oh I am so sad–I can’t get the Moody link to play! I think I’m finding, I can’t listen live, but can only play after it’s aired, but on Monday. Once I look at “past programs”, it isn’t listed…I’ll keep trying…

    1. I was having the same problem, cause I wanted to download it to listen in my car, but Anita said we have to use the link that is provided on the blog, because Midday isn’t allowed to put programs on that have more than 30 seconds of music. Obviously, Dee’s have way more than that!

  17. Oh this Keller sermon is so good–so timely! After listening, I found this: http://youtu.be/-zp3lHjCVEE
    Maranatha singing “Thou O Lord art a shield about me…the lifter of my head” I have always loved that hymn.

    I think what helped me personally most in this sermon, was the reminder of the need for community. When we moved so far from home,I pushed my introverted self to join CBS, a Mom playgroup, and a church study– as much as I wanted stay home and create my “nest”, I knew I needed the fellowship of believers around me or I would dry up–and honestly, it worked (I did drop a few things though)! And while even if I’m not depressed, I usually prefer a long walk with one good friend, or my nightly Scrabble games with my husband over a party out–I have noticed that even missing a week of church can allow a cloud to creep in over me. There is something so healing, so replenishing about corporate worship. It is such a privilege, a gift we have in the US.

    Since depression runs in my family, and I have experienced it myself, it was helpful to have him address it as real, and that it WILL come, so be prepared. I often think about that we are not home yet–there will be homesickness here. Dee quoted me a while back the CS Lewis quote that speaks of that too.

    And when it hits, pour out my soul–to the end of myself. Analyze my hopes–where are they misplaced? Remember His grace to Me, remember the Cross. And preach to my heart–RELOCATE my hope from being in myself or other people, to being in Him. There was a part of this that reminds me of the phrase “act first, feelings follow”…so often it is the first step I get stuck in the old quick sand!

    The pain will come, loneliness, depression, sickness, it all WILL happen. But we are not left hopeless. We are not left alone. The One who WAS really forsaken, Who was truly beaten and left to die of thirst, He took it all–so that we can have Him, with us, for us, in us. Never alone.We just have to remind ourselves of that–a lot!

    “My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.On Christ the solid Rock I stand,All other ground is sinking (quick) sand” 🙂

      1. oh! Bless you Dee–that link works! Ah…I LOVE, LOVE hearing your voice! As Susan said, you make it feel like we’re at the kitchen table with you—better yet, I picture your beautiful cabin and a game of Scrabble 😉

        1. Elizabeth,

          Amen to that!! 🙂

    1. Elizabeth, I really appreciate this insight. I am a true introvert and I have a difficult time with fellowship and involvement in community. I am a homebody.
      Recently, my summer internship has ended and so I am left at home fighting off boredom. However, I am also unwilling to call someone to spend time with and fellowship with. Over the past few years, my friends are no longer friends, despite the occasional dinner or phone call. I have begun such a completely different life by getting married, changing my priorities, wanting to grow closer to God, and refusing to live in sin. I am proud of that, but the price is lonely. I can feel myself slowly slipping into a depression. How did I get this way? I once was a very popular and fun person. Now, I am quiet and withdrawn. I want to battle it. I don’t want to go there, but the thought of putting myself “out there” and calling someone or trying to make a friend not only makes me feel pathetic but terrifies me. Can anyone else identify with that? I like what you said about you wanting to stay home and create your nest, and needing the fellowship of other believers or you would dry up. That really spoke to me because that IS me. I feel that God is urging me to not, in actuality, go back to my old friendships that do not fit with my values, but to make new friendships where I can feel the love and support He wants for me and where He is at the center.

      1. oh sweet Melody, I so identify! This was another one of those posts where I just wished we could all be in person and get to hang out with each other! But I will commit to praying for God to bring you godly friendships, ones that will encourage you. I remember how hard the transition to being married is, when you’re just in a different stage, it’s hard to relate to old friends. So glad you’ve joined us here so we can pray 😉

        1. This bible study is just such a blessing! Thank you for the prayers! I never knew how difficult it could be to make friends. It just always came easy when I was younger. I chuckle about a time when a girl from my nursing class started coming over and we went out to the movies. I told my husband about it and he said, “You made a friend?!” After that I was petrified I would scare her away haha. I have made a few friends here and there but those all faded away. I am so blessed that God connected me with one momentous and lasting friendship, my husband, and he is so wonderful. I am glad that I get to chat with you all here and have some girl time! Although my husband is great, he isn’t very good at girl talk haha.

      2. Melody, it is hard to find really good friends but when you do, she is more precious than gold. You are right in that you have to put yourself ‘out there’ and risk being hurt but it is so worth it. Start with praying and keep your eyes open. We did a unit on friendships of women and I remember Dee saying that she found friends in unexpected places.

        The good thing that happened for me in the area of friends was when my Christian life expanded beyond the walls of my church. It started when I joined a Mom’s in Touch group (you can find that online). I went to events at other churches. I joined a Bible Study Fellowship study. These things enriched my spiritual life but the true friends came from unexpected places.

        Blessings to you Melody. And don’t give up.

        Lord, how precious are our friends. Especially those who walk closely with you. I pray that you would bring a true friend to Melody. Open her eyes as she walks through her day that she may find her friend when she comes across her path. Please bring to her the one, that both of their lives may be enriched. May they sharpen each other as iron sharpens iron.

      3. And another thing Melody, you are still fun. You just find fun in different things than you did before. There are people out the who will appreciate the same things that you do.

  18. Hi Lynn,
    So glad to know I’m not the only one who is intimidated by this online thing. Strange…I work at a computer all day, but wading through the steps to get started on this seemed overwhelming.
    It tenders my heart that you are missing your mom. My mom went home to heaven in 2000. Not the first death in our family but certainly the hardest for me until 2008 when my husband joined my mom and the others in the presence of our Lord Jesus.
    Perhaps I’ll settle down enough to post an icebreaker at some point but until then, I will enjoy reading/listening.

  19. Midday Program-
    Oh WOW. This REALLY impacted me on many levels. I loved how Dee talked about how He not only sees my tears, but He drinks them.

    I appreciated so much how Dee talked about going to her internist and taking medication when Steve was dying—and Steve, for prodding her to go. My dad was severely, chemically depressed, and his only “medication” was alcohol, which eventually destroyed his body and he died in his late 50’s. So you can see why I so admire those like my husband, who are not too prideful to take medication, and men like Steve, a wise doctor, who acknowledge their importance.

    So as I listened to that part, my heart was heavy again about Dad, that he never took his lament to the Lord, and never found healing on this earth. And then Dee began the story about Annie’s wedding and the note. When I read this portion in the book, I wailed. Mostly tears of my own loss—that in my case, there wasn’t, and would never have been such a note. BUT when I heard Dee read that portion today—something in my heart heard differently. Yes, I really did cry again, but I thought maybe he would have, if he had gotten the healing he needed on this earth, he really would have…because of the journey we have taken in this study, I can believe that now. And my Heavenly Father, my Abba, has written me hundreds of thousands of love notes in His Word!

    I loved when Dee said how Steve had said to her, “God is going to make you a great heart”. All I could think of was as Dee told Annie Steve could see her as one of the “great host of witnesses”—that Steve is seeing THIS. Seeing Dee’s great heart reaching all of us, right here, on this blog and beyond. And by then, I was crying to much to write more notes!

    1. Beautiful insights, Elizabeth! I am so glad the program ministered to you about your dad!

      1. Can’t wait to hear it. Tomorrow I am going to listen! 🙂

    2. Elizabeth,

      Your post really moves me….I just found out (after 33 years) that my father may (?) have died of alcoholism also. My mother has never really told me what happened and I was a child when he died. I don’t want to ask her because she is old and it might upset her. My last memory was sneaking into the ICU to see him, and sure enough, I remember him being yellow (a sign of liver failure). I too, was touched by the note left by Steve to Annie. I wished my father could have seen my kids and known them. When I found out I was angry that he succombed to alcohol instead of fighting through; that he left mom (and us) to deal with life on our own. I feel so sorry for my mom. She was only 48 and never married again. She has lived a sad life since and will die a pauper. Luckily we don’t need anything in Heaven!

      I’m not sure about the medication bit. I tend to stay away from everything including advil or anything. Even if I were extremely depressed I probably would be too scared to take anything. I’m afraid I would get addicted. I suspect I should take medicine though.

      I loved the “cloud of witnesses” comment also! It comforts me to think my relatives might just be cheering me on in Heaven 🙂

      Another thing that touched me was when Dee said she had to move into the room next to Steve. I remember my mother crying years after my dad died, in her room. I’m sure my crying wakes my son, who has a room next to mine. You feel so helpless when someone is alone, crying. You know they don’t want others to know (for some reason), or in Dee’s case she didn’t want to disturb Steve. I never knew if I should go into my mom’s room and comfort her, or just leave her alone. I was 16 or 17 and not very close to her, so I left her alone. I try to be kind to her now that she’s old, because of all of the above.

  20. Elizabeth, Do you have an e-mail account I can e-mail you at? If you aren’t comfortable putting it on here I totally understand, just wanted to ask! 🙂

    1. oh, I just saw this–and I actually just posted a comment on your blog and subscribed to emails…will that give it to you? But I have multiple email accts, so if that doesn’t give you mine, let me know 🙂

  21. Rebecca–how was rehearsal tonight? Praying He will remove your fears for Sunday and fill them with His peace–I trust He will!

  22. Oh Elizabeth–“…BUT GOD”!! It went GREAT!!! 🙂 Thanks so much for praying.

    Oh and I can’t STRESS the importance of sharing our struggles so our sisters and brothers can pray- This is what God has shown me. I was too prideful to bring it up in the past, but God’s timing is perfect. 🙂

  23. Part C-Listened to Midday Connection. Dee, I didn’t hear any ummmms, even after you mentioned they were there so that says that the power of God’s words washed over it. 🙂

    Condensing here, but so many things were said that spoke to my heart:

    I copied the Samuel Rutherford quote-I want to pass it on. “Trust God’s word and power more than you trust your own feelings and experiences (or circumstances), remember, your rock is Christ and it is the sea that ebbs and flows with the tides, not Him.”

    The difference between sweet tears and bitter tears. God has them in his bottle and he drinks them-some day justice will be done.

    I have experienced judgment and criticism when I was a ‘divorce single’-we can be so harsh. But I have to say I have also dished it out in regard to others who are struggling because of their own bad sinful choices..Some of the Psalmists were Lamenting as a result of sin. BUT GOD CAME TO THEM TOO. And he poured out his waterfalls of love and restoration over their souls. I am glad my God is a God of mercy.

    I LOVED THE INTERACTION DEE HAD WITH LIZ CURTIS HIGGS. Now that is encouragement-I think that was deep calling out to deep for Dee in that moment. God bathed her soul with love with those words.

    My favorite story of Annie and J.R. finding the note in Steve’s Bible. God came to Annie at that moment-Deep calling to deep..He SURPRISED HER and He surprises us. Loved that encouragement.

    Finally, when Dee told of how she spoke the truth to her soul and that is what healed her, not time. Then she went into this: “One day the trees will clap their hands and all the world will be alive with music. Music is part of God’s plan for restoration.” -THIS REALLY SPOKE TO ME. Music is so important to God.

    This spoke to me-I think it is important for churches to nurture musicians and artists to reach their potential because music and art IS important to God. It is VERY important-HE is the master artist, singer and musician. HE created it and He loves to hear us. Music is a part of God’s plan for restoration-that is how important it is to Him!

    Did I do better at keeping this short? I am trying not to be so wordy. 😉

  24. Ladies, just need to take the rest of the week off. I have had such a busy week at work and home, and tonight begins our “Grandparents weekend” with us having all 5 of our grandchildren (age 15 months-8) for 3 days. Oh how fun, but oh how busy we will be.
    I am asking f you would pray for a young woman with me. Yesterday, I participated in a Marchman act affidavit for this young woman, named Shelly. It is a long story, that I won’t go into, but it was very emotional for me, and near the end of the day, Shelly came to where we were, and we called the law enforcement and they picked her up and took her to Detox. God was in everything that happened that day and while we were waiting for the police to arrive, I was able to tell her again and again how much I love her and want the best for her and think that she needs rehab. She was full of denial about her use, but at 10:00 last night she called. She expressed hurt about some of the things I wrote in the affidavit, and again, I told her how worried I have been and that I love her. She eventually said, ” You’re right, I needed this”. I am praying that ultimately she would come to the end of herself and come to know the Savior and that God will be glorified.

    1. Terri, this reminds me a bit of Dee’s encounter with the housekeeper she hired. Wow-God is working-will pray today.

      1. I’m also praying along, Terri

    2. Praying for you Terri and this gal shelly!

    3. Dear Lord, thank you for people like Terri who minister to those in need. Please open Shelley’s heart to hearing your Good News. Allow Shelly to learn how drugs/alcohol harm her and those who care about her. Open her mind to receiving your blessing upon her life. I pray in Your name Lord. Amen.

  25. Thank you..seriously, thank you..You don’t know how much that means-well I think maybe you do! 🙂 Deep called to Deep last night. He came to me to encourage in so many ways!

  26. Dee, I am so enjoying your interviews on Moody radio and your “God of All Comfort” on-line Bible study…especially today’s “Deep Calls to Deep”… I love the quote by Charles Spurgeon, “the deep voice of God speaking deep into our souls.” I am reminded of how important it is to allow all our wounds to come to the surface, so that we may receive the panpharmacon salve that soothes every wound from Jesus through His Word…like this translation of the Scripture says, “You can’t heal a wound by saying it’s not there!” (Jeremiah 6:14 TLB)…many blessings to you 🙂

    1. Welcome Beth!

  27. Ice Breaker: I wrote the following on the first anniversary of my husband’s death. Almost three years have past.
    “This week I have been meditating on Ps 86:4. “Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.” Yesterday I left my Bible at work, so this morning I read Kyle’s. When I turned to Ps 86:4, there beside that very verse was a smiley face as only Kyle would do. It wasn’t just your average smiley face. It was wearing glasses! How sweet that today I would see that. How personal and special is our God. So, today, I thank God for the life I have had so far and the life God has for me yet. I trust Him. I do not ask why, or why now? The pain and loneliness are excruciating at times.”
    I thought by now I would feel much better. I don’t. BUT I love the Lord and I have a very blessed life. Today I laughed with friends. It feels strange.

    1. Karen–I love your heart–your eyes open even then to see the smiley face was there for you to find that day, from Him. Thank you for sharing something so personal, so real.

    2. That is so sweet. I am glad that God helped you find that to give you a special moment in your heartache. What a gentle God He is.

  28. Loved the Keller sermon just listened.

    LIked this
    4 things this person does for cure
    1-pours out soul
    2-analyze hopes
    3-remembers loving kindness of grace of God
    4-preaches sermons to his heart

    Also liked how he said we need balance, someone to listen, rest or even meds, and truth to fill mental, physical and spiritual needs.

  29. 5. Why is withdrawing one of the worst things you can do? The Lord often comes to me through brethren. If I cut myself off from them, I cut myself off from Him.

    6. There are so many ways that I am blessed by company with other Christians. Hearing how God is answering prayer and speaking into their lives encourages me. Listening to their problems helps me not to be so self focused. Their love heals me. Praying with them brings God’s power into our lives.

    7&8. He asks his soul why he is depressed. I think what he is really asking is why God is not enough for him.

    9. He tells his soul to hope in God and most importantly to praise Him. His words imply to me that his soul can always find praise for his Savior. His words point to the gospel.

    10. I think that the great roar of the falls would drown out all other voices as God speaks to my heart alone.
    A. All Your waves and Your billows break over me. This could cause the feeling of drowning.
    B. It could be positive in teaching us to depend only on His faithful love and in the night sing back to Him the song of His faithful love as a prayer to Him.

    11. The repeated talking to his soul tells me that he forgets! Just like me he has to go back again to the well and remember God’s faithfulness.

  30. 12. The first thing that strikes me about the song is that the water washes. It washes away pain and sorrow. The water is likened to His mercy. I like the part about dipping my heart in the stream of life. It reminds me of how refreshing it is to swim in water, to be immersed, surrounded by water and yet buoyant and able to keep my head up.

    13. The main thing for me in Psalm 42 is that I need Him. Unfortunately my heart is an idol factory. I need the roar of the falls and the billows breaking over me to shut out everything else so that I can hear Him and rely on Him, to know Him as faithful.

      1. Thank you Dee. That is a compliment that I appreciate. I pray that the Lord will show me more pictures that I can share.

    1. The booming is a good point. I can’t give the address of this but somewhere in the Bible I read something that gave me the impression that thunder is the voice of God. It might be more proper to say God is in the sound of thunder.

  31. 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?

    It is paired with the water image of a waterfall. I’ve never seen a big waterfall but I imagine the sound of all that water is deafening. We have a park that has a dam and when they turn it on, it is like a waterfall (it’s the site of a former hydroelectric plant). The noise of that water can fill your ears and drown out all other sounds.
    Maybe that’s like “deep calling to deep” when we are panicked and outside voices and our own troubled thoughts are swirling and then the small still voice of God gets our attention and drowns out our fearful thoughts.

    11. 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.

    “All thy breakers and Thy waves have rolled over me.”

    A. How could this water image be negative?

    If the waves and breakers symbolize calamity, and rolling over the psalmist means he is completely “done-in”; helpless, in a terrible situation where he may even lose his life.
    I can think of times I’ve been in the ocean and been tossed about and washed up on shore like a stick in the water! A really big wave puts fear in my heart because I know it’s so powerful a force.

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

    It makes me think of the hymn “O the deep, deep, love of Jesus”, which has positive water images in it. All the waves and breakers are rolling over the psalmist, yet he says the Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and His song will be with him in the night – the psalmist turns this into a prayer “to the God of my life.”
    This lovingkindness in the day and His song in the night seem to me to give the feeling of a ‘rhythm’ of life, like the tide of the ocean coming in and going out.
    I can picture this image of being rolled over by His breakers and waves as a rescue; when we are so desperate or in despair and God’s love comes rolling in over us and totally overwhelms us; then I picture the giant wave coming in at me but not drowning me, but lifting me up, kind of like how you can float in the ocean without any effort and when you float over the wave it’s like you’re being lifted-up. (I’m thinking alot about the ocean because we’re going to the beach soon and I love swimming in the ocean!)
    It is a rescue because it’s the point where we stop striving and are still, and God comes.

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

    The psalmist has to keep on talking to his soul, asking that same question, “Why are you in despair?” He then has to keep speaking the truth to his soul and reminding his soul to hope in God.
    In the worst times, this could be a “every ten minute” kind of thing. I have many times spent time in prayer, been reassured, and then not even an hour later, the doubts and fears or it may come from another person making me feel discouraged or unsettled; it comes creeping right back! The psalmist is showing us this is not a one-time thing that will fix everything.

    1. Susan, great thoughts about swimming in the ocean. One of my favorite things to do is go out beyond the breakers and float. It’s great until I float too far in and a breaker goes over my face. Uncomfortable but it gets my attention so that I can reposition myself. I have thought that it would be great to have an anchor so I would not have to worry about where I floated to. Ha, maybe I could make an invention…maybe not. I pray that you will all have a wonderful time.

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

    Lots of positive water images in this – waves of mercy/deep calling to deep….
    Inviting Jesus to come and bring those waves.

  33. I loved the sermon. Dr. Keller teaches me so much. I am glad he teaches the church to be ready for dry times when the Lord seems far away and it has nothing to do with sin. Moralism is probably the first thing I would see since I was raised that way. Although it is good though to see if it is a sin problem, to rule that out. I liked his advice to stay in the fellowship, stay in God’s word, keep praying and pressing in. Also, rule out physical problems.
    I also enjoyed the Midday programs very much. The music is beautiful and I felt like I was right there in the room as Dee and Annie comforted each other on Annie’s wedding day. Love the note Steve tucked in the Bible for Annie and how God so beautifully arranged for J.R. to find it. It seems to me that God was knitting their hearts together-J.R., Annie and Dee.
    I want to go back for a minute and visit Melody’s question:
    Even as you try to find normalcy, it’s easy for your thoughts to stray away and center again on your misfortune. I find even as I have grown up I still find myself thinking about my difficult childhood and my parents fighting. Why do these thoughts crawl back?
    I can relate having had a bi-polar mother. I believe it can be as Susan put it, an attack or as Elizabeth said, lament. I also have experienced it as God’s way of showing us, when were ready, that we need to do some healing. We aren’t well. Maybe we need to ask forgiveness, maybe we need to give forgiveness or maybe we need to just lay something down.

    1. Dee, I am glad you mentioned counseling. The Lord made it crystal clear to me that I was angry with someone or something and so I saw a good godly counselor to help me forgive what turned out to be my mother. My counselor helped me feel safe enough to go back to my hurt with Jesus by my side and walk and pray through it.
      I believe Dr. Keller spoke of having had distracting thoughts while preaching. Sometimes my mind wanders in every direction and I have pray scripture or ask the Lord to calm my soul and help me focus on Him. He always comes through.
      I like your verse, Dee and will add it to my collection. One of my favorite power verses is Isaiah 54:17 NO weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD. I put it this way, “satan, my God says the weapons you shoot at me are made of jello!” 😉

  34. I found this and thought it might encourage you as it did me! What this man says relates to what we are learning here about God’s love washing over us! A movie about Rich Mullin’s life is coming out in 2012 and in this trailer what this man says is really good:

    http://youtu.be/MaavnQSJzKI – This link takes you straight to the trailer.

    I have another link that is on the actual movie website but you would have to click on Trailers at the bottom which may be hard to see for some, so I just sent the You Tube link.

    1. What a precious man. Such encouraging words. Look forward to the movie!

    2. Apparently that was Brennan Manning. I happened on this from him at a younger age. http://youtu.be/pQi_IDV2bgM I am amazed because as I listened I remembered the dream I had. For those who are new, when we were in our study on idolatry I had a dream about God’s love for me. This is very powerful.

  35. In your opening comments, you describe where I am now: “If you would have told me that my children and I would be doing well one day, and that I would be closer to God, I mignt have wanted to kick you.”

    You said “God spoke deep into my soul” – I’m afraid I can’t hear right now as my soul is downcast.

    Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
    For the help of His countenance. – It was easier to do this throughout my husband’s illness, I still had his smile, his laughter, a reason to go through each day. Not so now.

    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, thirsting for water. The streams of living water are God’s word.
    2. What water image is in verse 3? How is this a true lament? Tears – tears are the ultimate 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).
    Crying day and night, not sleeping, tears have been the only food.
    4. Find another causal factor to depression in verse 4.
    Used to go with others to worship – lack of fellowship, withdrawal.
    5. Withdrawal – feel that way right now. It’s the typical “crawl under the table and hide” response. Not wanting to be with anybody, feeling like there is so much gloom that it would be contagious to others. It is a lot of work to be with other people, takes a lot of emotional energy and then I am just drained afterward, unproductive and exhausted. Right now I’m not sure that it’s one of the worst things to do. I’m wondering if that’s where God wants me – alone and not distracted by others. Yet I know that my friends are offering support, yet I am not able to receive it. I even feel like withdrawing from any communication I’ve been having on the internet, support groups, Bible Study, etc.
    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 my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
    8. Haven’t taken the idolatry study, but I think he’s asking his soul why he hasn’t yet turned to God, what is taking place of his communing with God.
    9. What, according to verse 5, does he tell his soul to do?
    Put your hope in God.
    10. they are loud, constant, ever flowing.
    How could this water image be negative? Waves and breakers flow over me.
    Think of being taken under, out of control, sinking.
    B. Verse 7 paired with verse 8 shows how this water image could be positive. What do you see?
    Think of God’s covering over all situations, God in control, God taking over.

    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? The psalmist must continue to redirect his soul to the greatness of God, he continues to lament.
    This tells me that the battle can be constant, that I need to continue vigilantly to redirect my soul to the care and sovereignty of God.
    12. What images from Psalm 42 do you find? Other thoughts?
    Deep calls to deep, water images, living stream, thirsty, waves of his mercy. Come Lord Jesus – calling out to God as Savior.
    13. Application
    Take tender care of my soul, listen to her, show her the way to God. Not once, but each time she is downcast. Don’t allow other things to get in the way of satisfying my soul with God. Only God will satisfy. Turn to God. God is calling to me in all situations. My natural care giving skills need to be directed toward my soul right now. It’s ok to take care of her, to see that her needs are met.

    1. Praying for you, Karen

  36. I just felt like sharing something…

    I have been having some wonderful conversations with everyone about my family and the relationships in my life that are so trying. I thought of something rather odd. I remember when I was dating my husband; we would often spend time at his house with his family, now my in-laws. I remember telling him how weird I thought it was that his parents were just so happy and nice, especially to one another. Its pretty funny now, but at the time, the love the emanated from them just tortured my soul and it made me incredibly uncomfortable. Even now, I have a difficult time with people who are kind and loving to me because I am so used to anger, fighting, and manipulative behavior. I have never felt such strong love as I feel with my husband, but, it can be so hard for me to accept his love and sometimes I would almost prefer to be in a fight. Strange, I know. How sly that devil is to turn love into an unpleasant experience for me. I think about the love that Christ had. He did that for me? I believe that I often turn God into a mean and angry God in my mind, where I have to come and beg for forgiveness. What would He say to that? I can’t imagine God’s love, but I want to. I want to live in that reality instead in living in the lie that satan had given me. “His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime.” I love that verse. I hope to learn more about His love for me through this study.

    1. It tears me up to think that the devil would try to steal the good gifts God has given you, Mellie. What you are describing here Dee’s daughter, Sally, could give us some light on. I have heard it said that people who live in a constant environment of drama often need drama to feel normal. I am asking God to show off His mighty love for you. Love you, favorite dil.

  37. 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.

    When I was married at 17 to be with my high school sweetheart, after I graduated, where he was stationed in the service, during the Viet Nam War. I would be with him while he was stationed in CA and come home to live with mom and dad while he was in Viet Nam. He changed after a year in Viet Nam. It was “Kill or be Killed”, he said. After he was out and we started our lives together, he nearly killed me several times by pinning me down or up against a wall, choking me with both hands, in a rage. One time in particular, I thought I was taking my last breath, as he was choking me and a peace came over me that God was with me. It wasn’t a voice or anything like that, it was just a peaceful feeling, that if I let go, I would be with God. I had just given my heart to God in the middle of those difficult 9 yrs. It was a blessing we could,’t have a baby then, also. I use to sing hymns to myself, while I was alone, and couldn’t get enought of the word. Years later, after that first marriage ended and I remarried and had my three kids, then that husband left us after 10 years, I felt closer to the Lord again. I had a friend tell me…”I wish I had what you have.” I was shocked, as the kids and I had hardly anything, and I said “What could that be”? He said, “That PEACE that you have.” Suffering does bring you closer to God and gives you a peaceful feeling in your heart, that God loves you and he will always take care of you.

    I took this study two times before…once on line here and once with a friend with “the God of all comfort” bible study book. It never get’s dull as suffering never stays away. So, I haven’t answered the questions, as I have them all wrote down in my notes, that I’ve been reviewing:) I love this “God of all comfort” study as Dee opens up her heart so much in it and I can feel her pain and it helps me, so much then:)

    1. Joyce, I am so glad the Father brought you peace in your darkest hour and spared your life. You are such a sweet fragrance to those on this blog.

  38. These are the lyrics to an old hymn, Abide with Me, by Henry F. Lyte, 1847.
    1. Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
    The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
    When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
    Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.
    2. Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
    Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
    Change and decay in all around I see—
    O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
    3. I need Thy presence every passing hour;
    What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
    Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
    Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
    4. I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
    Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;
    Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
    I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
    5. Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
    Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
    Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
    In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

    1. Like your picture, pretty lady.

    2. Elizabeth, thank for sharing this lovely song. Just today I had to talk to my soul about all the things going on in our world and in my neighborhood. These verses talk to my soul too.

      Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
      Change and decay in all around I see—
      O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

      1. Oh good-I just found it!–I couldn’t find a you tube of Indelible Grace last night–here it is:
        http://youtu.be/54ALmQZ_NiA

  39. Elizabeth, I love this part:
    4. I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
    Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;
    Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
    I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
    5. Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
    Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
    Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
    In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me

    This explains how I feal, not fearing death. Thank you for sharing it.

  40. My takeaway from this week is to be diligent in speaking truth to my soul. This week has been encouraging. Wednesday night when I rehearsed the song, the worship team leader asked if I would say something before I sang-just a couple of sentences. I am VERY shy-always have been. I can relate to Moses needing Aaron. 🙂

    Teaching, speaking- isn’t my gift/talent but exhortation is and I KNOW there are those who are there who are experiencing a desert time in their walk in some way or another. but it would take more than a few sentences-I am not good at condensing my thoughts. I rabbit trail easily. 🙂 …BUT GOD.. 🙂

    Here is one of the many ways God came to me Wed. night. Guess what one of the songs is that our worship team is doing tomorrow?!? “COME THOU FOUNT”! And my special is, “NONE BUT JESUS”..haha! God is good. That is perfect. “prone to wander, prone to leave the God I love”-That is what I did when I trusted my idol to comfort me rather than God. Yet God came to me as deep calls to deep via this online study over the past year and covered me with His love. He drew me to flee and then after time I could finally say, “none but you, Jesus.” Then he brought in other brothers and sisters in our new church to surround me with support, prayer and love-His word, an edifying book, and encouragement from the body. He is good.

    You, my sisters encourage me every day as I read your posts in my e-mail! God is good and is moving in your hearts as he is in mine and it encourages me to see Him loving you and healing you.

      1. Thanks so much, Dee! I am truly thankful for you.

    1. Beautiful Rebecca–I can only imagine how He pours out of you when you sing–praying you sleep well tonight and go into tomorrow overflowing with His love for you, “hemmed in” with His presence–
      Psalm 139: 5-10:
      You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
      Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
      Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
      If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
      If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
      even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

  41. Oh my..He is here-Deep calling to deep. First Dee in her prayer-specifically to forget about the approval of man, and now with what you said. I am blessed! It is like God is throwing a warm, cloak or blanket around me through you all.

    Elizabeth, I just wrote this down as speaking truth to my soul tomorrow morning. TRUTH: HE IS HERE. As deep calls to deep so will His waves come rushing over my soul-HE IS HERE-ABANDON YOURSELF TO HIM-SING TO HIM! HE DELIGHTS IN YOUR SONGS TO HIM and HE WILL LOVE TO HEAR THIS ONE!

    You gave me Psalm 139- “WHERE CAN I GO FROM YOUR SPIRIT! WHERE CAN I FLEE FROM YOUR PRESENCE! YOUR HAND WILL HOLD ME FAST.. I am going to add this to speaking the truth to my soul. OH THE POWER OF THE WORD OF GOD!

    Thanks for letting God speak through you not only in my life but in the other ladies lives here as well. 🙂

    I do know AND HOPE that in the future I will laugh at myself that I blew this up so big for uh..30 years?!?, 😉 yet at the same time rejoice in how He came to me and restored me.

  42. Sorry, I do not mean to rabbit trail. I want to direct this toward God. LOOK WHAT HE JUST DID!

    a month ago or so I was reading “The Pursuit of God” and put it down to engage in another book for a few chapters–SO.. I opened it up just now and came to this passage:

    (Faith simply reckons upon that which is already there)
    “GOD AND THE SPIRITUAL WORLD ARE REAL. WE CAN RECKON UPON THEM WITH AS MUCH ASSURANCE AS WE RECKON UPON THE FAMILIAR WORLD AROUND US. SPIRITUAL THINGS ARE THERE (OR RATHER WE SHOULD SAY, HERE)INVITING OUR ATTENTION AND CHALLENGING OUR TRUST. OUR TROUBLE IS THAT WE HAVE ESTABLISHED BAD THOUGHT HABITS. WE HABITUALLY THINK OF THE VISIBLE WORLD AS REAL AND DOUBT THE REALITY OF ANY OTHER. WE DO NOT DENY THE EXISTENCE OF THE SPIRITUAL WORLD BUT WE DOUBT THAT IT IS REAL IN THE ACCEPTED MEANING OF THE WORD.

    …SIN HAS SO CLOUDED THE LENS OF OUR HEARTS THAT WE CANNOT SEE THE OTHER REALITY, THE CITY OF GOD SHINING AROUND US… (loved this.)

    IF WE WOULD RISE INTO THAT REGION OF LIGHT AND POWER PLAINLY BECKONING US THROUGH THE SCRIPTURES OF TRUTH WE MUST BREAK THE EVIL HABIT OF IGNORING THE SPIRITUAL. WE MUST SHIFT OUR INTEREST FROM THE SEEN TO THE UNSEEN… ‘HE THAT COMETH TO GOD MUST BELIEVE THAT HE IS, AND THAT HE IS A REWARDER OF THEM THAT DILIGENTLY SEEK HIM.’ THIS IS BASIC IN THE LIFE OF FAITH. FROM THERE WE CAN RISE TO UNLIMITED HEIGHTS.”

  43. Elizabeth, this goes right into Psalm 139!

    Here is what he said right before the next chapter where he goes into Psalm 139.

    OH, and this IS my desire-my heart flipped over when I read it:

    “As we begin to focus upon God the things of the spirit will take shape before our inner eyes. Obedience to the word of Christ will bring an inward revelation of the Godhead. It will give acute perception enabling us to see God even as is promised to the pure in heart. A new God consciousness will seize upon us and we shall begin to taste and hear and inwardly feel the God who is our life and our all. There will be seen the constant shining of the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. More and more, as our faculties grow sharper and more sure, God will become to us the great ALL, and His Presence the glory the wonder of our lives.”

    I see this so much in Dee. Her faculties have grown sharper and more sure and it is clear His presence is the glory and wonder of her life. That is what drew me to her in the first place..and as iron sharpens iron.

    Here is his prayer and mine too for my life as a whole:

    “Oh God, quicken to life every power within me, that I may lay hold on eternal things. Open my eyes that I may see; give me acute spiritual perception; enable me to taste Thee and know that Thou art good. Make heaven more real to me than any earthly thing has ever been. Amen.” and Amen.

    I apologize for taking up so much space. I just wanted to share what God is doing right now. I pray this will encourage those of you have time to read through all of it. To God be the glory. 🙂

    1. Love this, Rebecca. My internet’s been down so I am catching up this a.m.

  44. A very simple thought is my takeaway this week–the one verse that stood out to me all week was “Deep CALLS to deep”. He calls, speaks to us, He pursues us, and He hears us and He responds. If we feel He is absent–we can cry even that out to Him, and He hears it–there is no doubt.
    This simple thought is a profound one for me because unlike any earthly role model some of us may have of a father, our God is Jehovah-shammah–“the God who is there”–He is WITH us–and NEVER passive. And THIS is my reason for Hope, my promise that joy comes in the morning.

  45. Ladies I don’t know how to word this well so I’m just going to say it how it comes to me. I have been grieving for the past few months. It’s the hardest thing that I have ever experienced. I know that God brought me to this study in just the right season. I have been encouraged by all of you. I know that God has numbered all of our days since before the foundation of the earth. That I will see my niece again. I love and cherish her memory. I miss her tremendously.
    In the past few years I have grown spiritually by leaps and bounds. I have had different women from my life groups saying how much they appreciate the wisdom and input that I have contributed to our weekly meetings and that I should be a group leader (being introverted and knowing that wisdom only comes from God [praying James 1:5 continually] I know this is not where God is leading me. It takes me forever to get up the courage to even speak what I’m thinking). I have studied Corrie Ten Boom, Spurgeon, AW Tozer, Fox’s book of martyrs, Hudson Taylor, David Brainard and many others with my children as I homeschooled them. I know enough verses to be carried through the worst storms! I trust God with everything! I don’t worry, I cast all of my cares on Jesus because he cares for me. I don’t fear, God has not given us a spirit of fear but a spirit of sonship.
    I said all of that just to say that I have been daily wracked with a feeling of doom that no amount of praying, bible reading/studying, or spiritual singing has been able to overcome. Repeating some verses over and over made me feel like a little kid pulling a blanket over his head and chanting “There are no monsters in my closet.” I haven’t been enjoying anything in my life, not my husband, children , parents, siblings all of those to whom I have always enjoyed spending time with. I have had to force myself to do everything from grocery shop to using the phone. After much (and I mean MUCH) pressure from my friend to go to a doctor (she asked me why I didn’t want to get better and I had to think about it all weekend). I have been diagnosed with panic disorder. I didn’t have the overwhelming feeling that I was about to die or have a heart attack, I just was increasingly unable to function in my normal daily routine. One day on medication has changed my life 100%, I didn’t even know how bad it was until it was better.
    What this has done is humble me further, deep down I thought that only spiritually immature people who didn’t REALLY trust God suffered with this and most emotional disorders. Well, I didn’t cause it to happen to me anymore than a person who suffers from migraines or asthma cause their problems. I have always been stoic, independent (except from God), never given to shows of emotion, very even keeled and had no problem “letting go and letting God” (of course always in a neverending struggle with pride). I am the last person that I thought this could happen to, but it has and there it is.

    1. Dawn M.S.,
      Thank you for sharing with us so honestly–for pouring out your soul to us. I am so sorry you have been struggling–but thankful you have a friend who loved you enough to encourage you get to a doctor, and that you feel the medication already helping. I will be praying you continue to experience His healing.

      1. Thanks Elizabeth. I am glad to see your picture. You are much prettier than any flower!

        1. I agree!

      2. Dawn, I’m on a anti-depressant and something for my insomnia and a pain pill and muscle relaxer, for my back and knee, a thyroid med. and something to try and help me from getting my fifth kidney stone! I’m so glad your doctor diagnoised you so well and got you on the medicine you need. Don’t ever be ashamed, our minds are like a broken bone…you’d fix a broken bone, wouldn’t you? Same thing. Praise God for Doctor’s and medicine. Thank you for telling us, so we can pray for you. Bless you (You are very pretty!)

    2. Dawn, I used to have the same attitude about medications for depression, not towards others who used them, but for myself. A few years ago, about 6 months after some major losses in my life, I went to my doctor for a check-up and burst into tears when he asked me a question. He probed some and said he felt like I would benefit from an anti-depressent and a sleeping pill for a short time. Between the depression and the extreme fatigue caused by the insommnia, I was a mess. I did take the medications he wanted me to take and the change was dramtic and it helped me so much. I didn’t have to be on the meds long term, but I am so thankful that I listened to my Dr. Thanks for sharing your experience Dawn M.S.

    3. Dawn, You can count on us praying for you. A lot of us have been in the same boat, or have family members who are. So glad you shared because now we know how to pray.

      Lord, Thank you for Dawn and for what you are doing in her heart and in her life. Thank you Lord that you helped her to release her pride to take these meds so that she can take care of her family. Be her shield, Lord, and her refuge in this time of healing. In your precious name, Amen.

    4. Great testimony, I am so thankful the medication is helping. Praying for you.

  46. Thank you for your encouragement and prayers. I have a sense that God is saying “Girl, we have to work on that pride issue of yours.” There is a purpose for everything. 🙂