What to Do When You're Down

Michael Wilcock

READ : Psalm 119:25-32

I am laid low in the dust. (v. 25 NIV)

In Hebrew, the first word of each of these eight verses begins with daleth, the letter D. In English the psalmist might have said: “Downcast (v. 25) and drooping (v. 28) – that’s how I feel!” When depression or discouragement or distress are getting him down (there are many such D-words), what should the believer do?

The psalmist began no fewer than five of the other verses with a word meaning “way” or “path.” Our first step in times of distress should be to tell God about the way things are with us (v. 26). “Take it to the Lord in prayer.” None of our doings or experiences is too trivial or shameful to bring to him; “perverse and foolish oft I strayed,” confesses another hymn, but the Lord is quite unshockable. And he is just as ready to hear about troubles that really are not our fault.

When we talk to him like this, he will answer us through his Word, which tells us about the way he works. It is true that he “moves in a mysterious way,” to quote one more hymn. But he makes clear everything that we need to know about it, and in accepting it we find ourselves lifted out of the mire and free to run in the way of his commands (v. 32)


Lord, lift me up when I am low, that I may walk in your way.