Thursday, June 25, 2009

When life is discouraging

Good morning. This is a devotional for single adults from Parenting Solo, but the message also applies to single adults without children who may one day marry a single parent and be a step-parent. Feel Free to forward it to a friend.

Scripture: Psalm 43:5 (NIV) Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your home in God,
for I will yet praise him,
My Savior and my God.

Psalm 43 is about discouragement and is probably written by the sons of Korah, who were temple assistants. But this chapter is also about hope, something that is needed when we are discouraged. I spent the past five days in Arizona visiting my mom because she is not well physically, spiritually and emotionally. My mom’s biggest problem is that she is severely depressed because her best friend died in May. Add to that, several physical problems, and one can see where the discouragement comes from.

My mom is 80, and she also lost my dad a little more than three years ago. In the past few years, most of my mom’s friends have died or moved away. She is now the senior citizen of the church she has been attending for 42 years. What my mom most needs is socialization. We talked about getting into a Bible study with other women her age and how much she needed those friendships. Her physical problems keep her from going to church. Spiritually, she’s OK in that she loves the Lord and is in his word every day and watches several televangelists every day, but that is not the same as human contact.

What my mom is going through isn’t all that different from what single parents go through after divorce or separation from a life mate. Many single parents lose friends and support when divorce happens for various reasons. It is at that moment when we feel all alone that we realize we are never really all alone. God is always with us, through storm or calm seas. Like my mom, single parents need that socialization. We are human beings and created to interact with others. When we lose friendships, it is easy to become downcast or depressed. That is part of the grieving cycle and a vital part of our healing.

We move on from depression by going “to the altar of God” (vs. 4). The altar of God isn’t just in some church setting; it’s wherever you call out to God. We can worship God wherever we are, and he is just fine with that. We don’t have to wait until Sunday to experience the living God in our lives. God is a seven-day a week god, not a one day experience. When we realize what God is doing in our lives, our mouths are filled with praise. When we can praise God in the middle of the storm, that’s when we know we are on the downward slope of healing. That’s when hope fills our lives.

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, cover my mom with your spirit of gladness. Fill her life with friends her age that can relate to her everyday life. Amen

Doug Mead
Parenting Solo

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Vol. 4, No. 65

This week’s reading plan can be found at http:/

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