I woke up sick that morning. "I'll never make it to the end of the day," I muttered to myself. My husband was due to leave town for work. "How am I going to manage the kids while feeling like this?" These thoughts traveled with me throughout the day, spawning new ones. "This is too much, I just can't do it." "Can't they see that I am sick? Why can't they listen for once?" Before I knew it, I was overwhelmed, stressed, irritable, distraught.
Talking to Ourselves
I remember teasing my mother for talking out loud to herself. Now I find myself doing the same thing. While most of us may not be in the habit of talking out loud to ourselves, we all keep some kind of internal dialogue. The problem is that we all too often fail to talk back to ourselves.
The psalmist in Psalm 42 was feeling deep sorrow, "My tears have been my food day and night" (verse 3). But he talked to himself, "Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why are you so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God" (Psalm 42:5). In this psalm, the writer challenges and confronts himself with the truth.
In the book of Lamentations, the poet does the same thing. He had also been through an intense trial. He was weary and worn and felt as though he had lost all hope. Throughout the book, he lamented over the sin of the people and God’s subsequent judgment. He voices his despair, "I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, 'My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lᴏʀᴅ'" (Lamentations 3:17–18).
But he didn't stay there. He spoke his lament. He voiced the depths of his sorrow and pain, and then he reminded himself of what he knew to be true. Though he felt like he had no hope, he reminded himself that he actually did have hope. "But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope; The steadfast love of the Lᴏʀᴅ never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 'The Lᴏʀᴅ is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in him'" (Lamentations 3:21–24).
[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]