WHEN THE LIVING DEAD DESCRIBES ME
My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word. Psalm 119:25
There is the expression, “Something in me died.” Sadly to say, I have experienced it personally a number of times in my past. It was my soul talking. I remember the sinking feeling, a kind of bending toward the earth. My body felt like lead. The first time the sensation came over me, I discovered my mother was going to die. It happened again some years later when I uncovered a plot of betrayal by someone I trusted in ministry. Once more when traumatic news reached my ears about a family member, and then one last time when I was disappointed beyond what I believed I could survive. My soul clung to the dust and I wondered at the possibility of passing the next many decades in front of me with a body very much alive but a soul that already felt like it had expired.
How was I revived? By nurturing the only part of me that contained the powerful seeds of life ~ my spirit; the place where the Word dwells. “His word is alive and sharper than any two edged sword.” His Word is more powerful than any disappointment or disease. His Word mends a heart that appears irrevocably ripped in two. His Word has cured the sick and even raised the dead. Whether that death is physical or spiritual makes no difference. By surrendering my thoughts and feelings to the power of the Word, and then by asking God to open my heart to breath His very life into me, I began to experience my own resurrection.
I can make a mistake reading scripture. I can perceive that David’s words in today’s text is just a bit dramatic. If any of us have lived near someone histrionic, we run away from strong emotional statements and tone them down, at least 50%, to arrive at the truth. But if you've faced the dark times, you know that David's expression is literal. “The living dead” describes those who breathe but live as though dead. Ah, but the Word shakes us out of our graves if we lean on it with all of our weight. It promises life abundant if we put all our hope in it. Finally, I remember that 'it' is not a Word, but the very person of Christ.
Every day, I decide to put all my hope in You. There is life in no other. This is not depression, this is my commitment to live abundantly. Thank you for teaching me this – though the way was hard, Lord. Amen