You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Living with mental illness, I have spent a lot of time dealing with chaos in my mind. And this was in addition to dealing with chaos in the world around me.
So, when I read that God is my hiding place – that in Him, I can hide from trouble – it’s a double-benefit. I have somewhere I can go to rest from the struggles both inside and outside of my mind.
But God doesn’t just hide me, He delivers me.
This is the song of deliverance:
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
Do not be like the horse or the mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you.
Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the Lord’s unfailing love
surrounds the one who trusts in him.
God delivers me by showing me what to do. And his unfailing love surrounds me when I trust Him and obey.
What does that look like when my own mind is the problem? Because my mind is often the mule that has to be bridled and forcibly led in the right direction.
I read His Word.
One of the biggest red flags for me when I’m sliding into depression is the phrase, “Why bother.” Nothing is worth the effort because there’s no hope of anything getting any better.
But I’ve learned that when I see no hope around me, I know where to find it. I go to His Word to get the hope I need to move forward.
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
God’s not finished with me yet.
That sounds so corny, but it’s a truth that I need to hold onto. God is still working on me, even when I see no point in it.
He tells me to take the next step, however small. He tells me to get out of bed one more time and go through the motions one more day.
And the very fact that He’s telling me to try again means that He’s still talking to me. He has His loving eye on me (Ps. 32:8).
It also means that I can still hear Him. Even if I end up telling Him that I can’t do what He’s asked me to do; the very fact that we’re having the conversation means that I can still hear from God.
That’s a huge revelation of truth that delivers me from the lies of the enemy. The accuser keeps telling me that my mind is too messed up to hear from God.
But the more I stay in God’s Word, the more my mind is filled with the truth, and the more the lies are exposed.
I am hearing God speak to me. And He’s delivering me by leading me out of the lies in my mind.
I seek counsel.
Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.
Those of us struggling with mental illness rely heavily on the perspective of trusted people around us. Chemical imbalances and overactive or underactive areas of my brain can make me think that what I’m feeling in the moment is all there is in the world.
When someone who loves me and understands my limitations offers other options, it forces my brain to start using logic and reasoning (pre-frontal cortex). This then turns down the volume on the fear (amygdala) and starts regulating the chemicals.
Calm, rational counsel can deliver me from extreme reactions.
Walk with the wise and become wise,
for a companion of fools suffers harm.
God speaks to us through each other. One of the ways He delivers us is through the instructions of others.
Going back to Psalm 32:7, one of the ways I discovered that God was my hiding place was when another believer told me He was.
One of the ways God sends deliverance is through the wisdom and encouragement of others.
I trust His leading.
the Lord’s unfailing love
surrounds the one who trusts in him.
God’s Word says that He provides instruction and counsel to lead me to safety.
But if I don’t trust Him enough to go where He leads, I’ll stay in the middle of the trouble.
I’ve learned I can trust God when I can’t trust anything else in my mind. Because He’s proven Himself to me over and over again.
In verse 7 of Psalm 32, David says that God will surround me with songs of deliverance. In verse 10, God surrounds me with His unfailing love.
It’s two ends of the same journey. He delivers me from trouble when He delivers me to His unfailing love.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
This is the peace that’s different than what’s available in the world. This is the peace of being surrounded by His unfailing love.
And this is where He will lead me, if I let Him.
How has God delivered you from trouble into peace?
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