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My tears have been my food
    day and night

Psalm 42:3a

It’s a New Year, but this is not the New You you were expecting.

Maybe it’s Seasonal Affective Disorder, or light deprivation. Maybe you’re struggling with another meaningless year stretching ahead of you, or already up to your ears in work that doesn’t feed you. Perhaps you’re missing the warm snuggly feelings of Christmas, or lamenting that you never felt them.

This one goes out to the depressed folks.

I’ve always been captivated by this line from Psalm 42: “My tears have been my food day and night”. Wow. 9 words that so accurately describe life when it’s dark. Are you there?

You’re not alone. I’ve been there many times before. Life can be so hard. Relief can be hard to find when you find yourself on a diet of tears. Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy life again? Like the warmth of friends, the promise of a new day, a connection to God?

So what’s to be done? How do we reclaim our place in this world? What do you do to turn off the waterworks? Well, there’s all kinds of things: Exercise, therapy, eating right, medication…you know the drill. But it also occurs to me…

Water works, sometimes. After all, tears have a purpose. They exist to clean out our eyes and help us see better. Sometimes we need to break down and have a good cry. We might just feel better afterwards. It’s an acknowledgement of our neediness, our stuckness, our frustration.

So go ahead and let them loose. Flop down on your bed and let ‘er rip if you need to. If nothing else, they are a physical manifestation of pain, and holding them back certainly doesn’t do any good. A good cry can lead to a refreshed mind and a new perspective.

But…if you find you can’t shut them off— if, as the Psalmist writes, you’re feeding on your tears day and night, you’ve got to do something, because you’ve tapped into a deep well of hurt that needs to be addressed. That’s when therapy, medication, etc. may be crucial.

Try this as a starting prayer: “Nourish me, Oh God, with your presence.” Acknowledge when it’s time to heal, to feast again upon God’s Word, so that you can taste and see that God is good all the time.

I’m so sorry if you’re in the dumps, or worse, today. A good cry may be exactly what you need to move in a better direction. But if the tears keep coming and the depression doesn’t get better, I challenge you to move beyond the waterworks…

and see what else might work.

Have a great week,


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