Many of us feel perpetually overwhelmed by financial difficulties, relationship problems, health issues, and more. All of these can weigh on us, leaving an impression in our souls. When I am driving from place to place, my brain will frequently bring forward a laundry list of concerns and issues—both my own and the world’s. They marinate and soak into my soul, and even if I forget the details as my attention is redirected, I feel the weight of them. Something nags at me, and I feel troubled. We sense unrest in our lives, and often we can’t quite pin it down.
The psalmist asks twice: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me?” The downcast and disquieted soul is not a uniquely modern problem, although the sources of that despair may be new in each age. We don’t know the specific troubles that burdened the psalmist, but we can identify with that sense of disquiet that rolls over life like a fog. That feeling of unease is as instinctual and basic as the hunger and thirst the psalmist describes in verse 1.
However, the psalmist doesn’t leave us without hope. We can reassure ourselves, even as we hear the psalmist reassuring himself, that we “shall again praise him, my help and my God.” We may not know when this feeling will lift. We may not know if our circumstances will change or whether our attitudes will shift around those circumstances. Once again, the psalmist offers no specifics. The soul who suffers and waits on God, however, will not be disappointed.

Our help and our God, we pray that you will remove the weight of disquiet from our souls. We long for a time when we feel the joy of praising you once again. Amen.

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