I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me!
When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord.
All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven,
but my soul was not comforted.I think of God, and I moan,
overwhelmed with longing for his help. You don’t let me sleep.
I am too distressed even to pray!
Nights can be hard. Fall has once again descended, and with it comes less daylight. The night is longer and it changes our rhythms. We get accustomed to these changes in light, generally, but many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, and they dread the onset of winter. The amount of light we receive affects our brain chemistry, and it causes us to have changes in mood. This, I believe, is both psychological and physical. The amount of serotonin is affected by these changes, and that results in less availability of that natural chemical which signals us to feel good. Often, these changes are subtle and minor, but sometimes, they can wreak havoc with our moods.
Night time is also hard for people who are struggling with depression and anxiety. Every thought seems to be compounded by the absence of comforting light. Light seems to give us hope and reassurance. Night time can be isolating and lonely, exacerbating fears and giving a sense of gloom that may not be present in the daytime.
David struggled with depression it seems, and he wrote about this in Psalm 77. He too was beset by problems sleeping. He had thoughts that would not quit, and they kept him from restful sleep. He wondered where God was in his time of need. He cried for help and seemed to come up empty. He felt helpless and hopeless.
Have you been there? You are not alone. Even David felt this sense of profound hopelessness, and it took him a while to finally get comfort.
Tomorrow we will look at some of his remedies.
Prayer: Father, we turn to you in time of trouble. We seek you for comfort. Be with us in time of need, Amen