When You’re in Over Your Head

painting of a person swimming underwater
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If you read the Psalms written by David as journal entries of sorts, it would appear that David was a person prone to discouragement. On numerous occasions he cried out to God, his heart wrecked with despair.

In fact, it would probably not be a stretch to say that David was chronically depressed.

In Psalm 69, for example, David used the analogy of being in very deep water to describe how he felt:

“Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck. Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can’t find a foothold. I am in deep water and the floods overwhelm me.” Psalm 69:1-2

The Mariana Trench in the Pacific is the deepest part of the ocean and the deepest location on earth at 36,200 feet (7 miles). We’re talking very, very deep water.

Well, you might say when David wrote Psalm 69, he was having a Mariana Trench moment. Due to the complexities of his life, he was in way over his head…seven miles deep.

Been there? Most of us have.

But the thing about David is that he consistently found his way back to the top. Though he was submerged by discouragement often, he came back up. How? Here are four things that buoyed David’s heart and they can do the same for us:

  1. Rather than pretending he was “good,” he cried out to God for help. I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me.” (v. 3) This is what Pastor Rick Warren refers to as “vertical venting.”
  2. He was ruggedly truthful about his failures. O God, you know how foolish I am; my sins cannot be hidden from you.”(v. 5)
  3. He regularly turned his problem people over to the Lord.Come and redeem me; free me from my enemies.” (v. 18)
  4. He dove head first into the wonder of God’s love. “Answer my prayers, O LORD, for your unfailing love is wonderful. Take care of me, for your mercy is so plentiful.” (v. 16)

In deep today? Let’s face it, we’re all in way over our heads. But the beautiful thing is that because the mercy of God is even DEEPER than the Mariana Trench, we have hope.

It’s a new day with God. Run with it.

“And may you have the power to understand…how DEEP his love is.” Ephesians 3:18


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