How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
 I will sing the Lord’s praise,

for he has been good to me.

Psalm 13

I used to read this psalm when I was going through long deep depressions. Such a comfort it was to be given the words when I had no words of my own to adequately express what I felt.

Praying through the psalms is a good exercise when you can’t express on your own what you want to say to God. David, author of at least half the collection of Psalms in the Bible, knew about depression. The Bible calls him a man after God’s own heart, but he was not unlike many of us. He too suffered from low moods. Yet he kept praying and writing the songs that are benefiting us today.

I doubt that David was aware, at the time he lived around 1000 BCE, that his writings would be read by those going through their own troubles three thousand years later. If he had only known how he would be helping thousands of people so very many years later! David’s words still ring true, especially at this difficult time in the world’s history. We can find encouragement and comfort in them.

One reason Psalm 13 did me good was because David so freely expressed his exasperation. God was real to him. He shows us how God is someone you can be honest with. You don’t always have to be formal. Let him know what’s in your heart. Be open with him.

“How long, Lord?” “…Look on me and answer, Lord my God.” Many of you might want to say the same thing right now.

Try reading the prayer aloud, line by line. Make the words your own. Savor the last few lines especially—David’s wonderful heartfelt words:

“But I trust in your unfailing love.” “For he has been good to me.”  

People who suffer from depression never know how long the dark times will last. In the same way, we can’t know how long our hard times will last.

But we can trust that our God is aware of what’s happening. He’s in control and he cares. And he is with us still.

Check out this musical version of Psalm 13 with Brian Doerksen