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Had a massive, unexplained anxiety attack last night (while driving, not recommended, probably as distracting as being drunk behind the wheel). Strangely, even though I know casting my fears and failings on God is the solution when I’m feeling like that, it’s often the last thing that occurs to me.

I guess the very nature of depression and anxiety means that you lose rationality, you become entirely self-focused and you can’t see anything beyond the stifling fog that surrounds you suddenly. I’m grateful I have people praying for me, and I have a mum to make me a cup of tea, and most of all that God can reach through it all to remind me that he’s there. Decided not to do the things I had planned for this morning, and instead sat under my blanket on the couch and read this psalm, which brought great comfort. God is good!

Psalm 138

I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.

All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O LORD,
for they have heard the words of your mouth,
and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD,
for great is the glory of the LORD.
For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly,
but the haughty he knows from afar.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

The psalm offers us a helpful prayer dynamic to follow on occasions when, like the psalmist, we find ourselves in ‘the midst of trouble’ (v7). This dynamic is expressed in the psalm’s main sections. The first encourages us in our trouble to look back to deliverances of the past (vs 1-3) . . . Having praised the Lord for his past goodness, we are invited in verses 4-6 to look forward to the time when all the rulers of the earth shall yield to God’s sovereignty. . .

Having enabled us to find comfort in both past experience and future hope, the final section (vs 7,8) bids us to look out on the troubles that are intimidating us now, casting ourselves upon the Lord’s steadfast love that did not fail us in the past and will endure for ever.

Encounter With God, Apr-Jun 2010, Scripture Union p36