I went to a women’s service at our church yesterday. For two days I’d wrestled with a strange melancholy. I’d tried and tried to understand it, but couldn’t. I’d searched my soul, confessed the self-focus I saw, and asked the Holy Spirit to reveal other issues. I’d looked at the level of my mommy martyrdom—yes, there was some, but it wasn’t high enough to explain my strange sadness. I thought of things going on around me: my renewed research on sex trafficking, a friend going through a very difficult time, the transition to being a mom of a teenager…
Nothing jumped forward as a principal cause.
I tried reminding myself that others were dealing with horrible losses and troubles. They had real reason to be sad. I did not.
That didn’t help.
Is it all right to sometimes not know the reasons for our lows? Is it all right to simply be sad sometimes without clear cause?
I think it might be, if only because of the ways the Lord ministered to me yesterday morning without my ever learning the why and what of my mood.
The speaker for our service had chosen II Chronicles 20 as the text. King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah knew a great enemy was coming against them. They chose not to trust in their own might or in the might of allies. Instead, they turned to God. They fasted and prayed and cried, and finally Jehoshaphat stood in front of his people and said, “Oh, Lord, we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (vs. 12b).
Well, I’m not really faced with a decision right now, but the not-knowing certainly fits me right now, I thought.
At the close of the service, we sang “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say” by Horatius Bonar, one of my favorite hymn writers.
I heard the voice of Jesus say
Come unto Me and rest
Lay down thy weary one
Lay down thy head upon My breast
I came to Jesus as I was
Weary, worn, and sad
I found in Him a resting place
And He has made me glad.
It was as if the Holy Spirit whispered the words to my heart. Weary?—yes. Worn and sad?—yes, yes. I didn’t know why (still don’t) and that’s all right.
Because, finally, when I rested and simply said, “I’m sad, Lord. I don’t know why. Here’s my sorrow,” He gave rest to my soul.
And He made me glad.