"The enemy has pursued my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground, he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead. Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled." (Psalm 143:3-4)
Those words from David the Psalmist are the obvious result of deep crisis. David had a number of life events that could have produced them, but he's not alone. I've been there. Everyone I know has been there at least once. We've all tasted of this place of crisis, not just in the physical life being threatened, but the place where the soul is at the brink of death. The place where thoughts, emotions, decision making, they've all been brought past the point of pain to the shadows where only numbness resides.
And it's there that we have an invitation. Two, actually.
When we find ourselves in the shadowland, the valley filled with such thick fog that we can not find the face of our Savior, we can choose to accept the invitation to set up camp and become a permanent resident, or we can start climbing out.
The first invitation comes from the one who brought you there in the first place. The one who has pursued you, crushed your life, and made you sit in the darkness. He's the one who constantly reminds you of the faintness of your own heart with words that never suggest you'll ever be anything but appalled at your own life.
But, the second invitation, the one that is harder to find, harder to open, and harder to accept? It comes from the lover of your soul, and it's the one David sent in his RSVP for in the very next verse.
"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the works of your hands. I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.....for your name's sake, O Lord, preserve my life. Bring my soul out of trouble." (Psalm 143:8,11)
The invitation is to remember, and by remembering to climb out of the darkness that makes you think life has always been this way and will always be this way.
Remembering what He's done and the many times He has already saved your soul in the past is the act of turning on the light, and stretching out your hands for His presence and asking Him to meet you again is taking the first step out of the shadowlands.
So, today, if you are in that place where your soul is in danger, where you can not see Him and you don't feel anything at all, remember.
Remember the way He met you for the first time.
Remember the way He changed everything.
Remember the way He spoke to you kindly.
Remember the way He provided when you thought there was nothing in your future but lack.
Remember the way He gave you the answer before you ever even thought to ask.
Remember the way He held you when no one else even knew you cried.
Remember the way He carried you through the storm you couldn't stand in.
Remember the way He answered the cry of your heart with His presence.
And after you remember, wait for His presence again. Stretch out your arms and call. And let Him bring your soul out of trouble.
You have not always been here. You will not always be here. Your soul will live again.