Adapted from a Living Room interactive devotional

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, O Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
for he has been good to me.

Psalm 13:1-3, 5-6

The solitary confinement that prisoners are sometimes put through as punishment is cruel. Yet the emotional depression caused by isolation is a similar prison. It too is one not easily escaped.

Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison. In his autobiography, Die Wit Man, he wrote about his experience with solitary confinement:

“I was locked up for 23 hours a day, with 30 minutes of exercise in the morning and again in the afternoon…There was no natural light in my cell; a single bulb burned overhead 24 hours a day…I had nothing to read, nothing to write on or with, no one to talk to.”

Mandela went on to talk about the relief brought about when an insect appeared from the crack in the floor and he had something he could watch—something to keep him company and preoccupy him.

Being deeply depressed is a bit like emotional solitary confinement. It’s a lonely place to be. The psalmist, David, knew all about it. Many of us will be able to relate to the Psalm above as we’re stuck in our homes with company not allowed. We, too, need relief. And the best relief we can have is our Father God. He will keep us company. Invite him into your home.

David talks about his fears of being separated from God. “How long will you hide your face from me?” “But” as he so often says, “…I trust in your unfailing love.”

We always see David returning to his faith in God. When you read David’s psalms, why not accompany him on his journey? Let him encourage you to hang onto the knowledge of God’s great love and protection. God will always be there. You will, like David, be able to say:

“…for he has been good to me.”