stretched thiN: Yelling at god


october 14, 2018

A few things about this message series:

  • The subject of mental health is a real thing and it is hitting our culture in a big way.

  • Our current message series, Stretched Thin, is a conversation about stress, anxiety, and mental health. And our goal is to open up this conversation, make us more aware of this issue, and encourage those who struggle to realize that they are not alone

  • We hope to not give the impression that we can address or fix or that we are the experts, but we want to bring this subject out into the light and offer hope, healing, and help.

  • If there is only one message you hear, hear this: You are not alone.

  • And we want to create some healthy frameworks for helpful and hopeful discussions, clarify some distinctions (clinical vs. situational), and give some practical advice/help – where and how to move forward. 

  • God cares about every part of us - mind, body, spirit. He made it all - and cares about it all (not just our bible knowledge, church attendance, and eternity)

Today, we are looking into a Psalm from the Old Testament and it’s important to understand a few things about the Psalms and about praying to Psalms. These quotes below are all from pastor, scholar, and the author of The Message, Eugene Peterson:

  • “Untutored, we think that prayer is what good people do when doing their best. It’s not. Inexperienced, we suppose that there must be an ‘insider’ language required. It’s not.”

  • “Prayer is elemental, not advanced, language. It’s honest, true, personal response to God. It is the means by which we get everything in our lives out in the open before God. Only as we develop raw honesty and detailed thoroughness in our praying do we become whole, truly human in Jesus Christ, who also prayed the Psalms.”

Psalm 77:

I yell out to my God, I yell with all my might, I yell at the top of my lungs. 

He listens

I found myself in trouble and went looking for my Lord; my life was an open wound that wouldn’t heal. When friends said, “Everything will turn out all right,” I didn’t believe a word they said. 

I remember God—and shake my head. I bow my head—then wring my hands. 

I’m awake all night—not a wink of sleep; I can’t even say what’s bothering me. 

I go over the days one by one, I ponder the years gone by. I strum my lute all through the night, wondering how to get my life together. 

Will the Lord walk off and leave us for good? Will he never smile again? Is his love worn threadbare? Has his salvation promise burned out? Has God forgotten his manners? Has he angrily stalked off and left us? 

“Just my luck,” I said. “The High God goes out of business just the moment I need him.” 

Once again I’ll go over what God has done, lay out on the table the ancient wonders; I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished, and give a long, loving look at your acts

O God! Your way is holy! No god is great like God! You’re the God who makes things happen; you showed everyone what you can do— You pulled your people out of the worst kind of trouble, rescued the children of Jacob and Joseph.  

Ocean saw you in action, God, saw you and trembled with fear; Deep Ocean was scared to death. Clouds belched buckets of rain, Sky exploded with thunder, your arrows flashing this way and that. From Whirlwind came your thundering voice, Lightning exposed the world, Earth reeled and rocked. You strode right through Ocean, walked straight through roaring Ocean, but nobody saw you come or go. 

Hidden in the hands of Moses and Aaron, 

You led your people like a flock of sheep. – Psalm 77:1-20  MSG

Jesus also cried out to God:

And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” 

(which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). – Mark 15:34  NIV

Another Psalmist writes this – to give us some help of changing our view/perspective:

Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”' – Psalm 46:10  MSG

Takeaways ::

  • Cry out to God.

  • Step out of the traffic. What is the “traffic of your mind/life” to step out of for a moment or maybe for good?

  • Invite someone in.

A few helpful resources ::

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Text CONNECT to 741741

“I was operating under a belief that a relationship with Jesus basically insulated you from ever reaching a point that you could kill yourself.” – Jalana Mejia

The most important things Jalana learned from her brother’s story:

  1. We do not have total control over our brains.

  2. Mental Illness and personality are two separate issues.

  3. Mental Illnesses are physical illnesses.

  4. Depression is a cyclical illness and each time it returns it is likely to be stronger and longer.

  5. We are sometimes taught signs to watch for in other people, but we need to watch ourselves