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My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word! (Psalm 119:28)
The soul (person) overflows with tears, an abundant or constant weeping, as if the soul were dripping away or dissolving. It is quiet but continuous grief that slowly wears away the soul. There are two kinds of sorrow:
(a) the one represented by floods of tears, like fierce torrents that sweep all away, and are soon passed;
(b) the other is the gentle dropping – the constant wearing – the slow attrition caused by inward grief, that secretly but certainly wears away the soul.
The latter is more common, and more difficult to be borne, than the other. It is here silent grief; hidden sorrow. How many thus pine in secret, until life slowly wears away, and they sink to the grave. Give me strength to meet this constant wearing away – this slow work of sorrow. We need strength to bear great and sudden sorrow; we need it not less to bear that which constantly wears upon us; which makes our sleep uneasy; which preys upon our nerves, and slowly eats away our life.
Depression is an illness, not a punishment. If you are in this miserable condition, please note that you are not alone. There are many like you who are bruised and wounded from ongoing feelings of guilt or worthlessness. Are you experiencing the pain of rejection? Do you have a sense of abandonment? In the torment of such darkness may you, in your brokenness, find Jesus who was broken for you! Are you afraid of the future? Life is filled with uncertainties. We need to be strengthened with patience, courage, faith, and peace. We need to enter the sacred space of relationship with God. Have you been misunderstood and harshly judged? Have your own misguided choices brought painful consequences?
The rubble of our ruined lives is the raw material for God’s great restoration project. The master mason is at work in sculpting and crafting a new structure that will have purpose and beauty. I once saw a section of one of the ancient colleges of Cambridge (England) being carefully dismantled and reconstructed. Each stone was numbered so that it could be put back in its rightful place in the overall edifice. This reminds me that every one of us belongs and has a place and a part to play in the building of God. God builds with people, and even the most peculiar shapes have a role to play in his great design. God is the architect, engineer, and mason in the project of our lives. All his expertise will ensure that the details of the blueprint will be meticulously followed. We are all works in progress. When we are finally fitted together, the splendor and skill of his design will be glorious.