The folks here in central Pennsylvania are quite different than those in the Middle East in Bible times, especially in the area of feelings. You don’t have to read the Psalms very long before you see that people then didn’t typically hide their emotions as we tend to here. In Ps.119:81-88 the psalmist wears his emotions on his armsleeves ! He tells us he truly feels as if he just can’t take it anymore with such phrases as “My soul fainteth”, “How many are the days of Thy servant?” “They (his persecutors) had almost consumed me upon earth”. I’m sure you can relate at times, but we are much less prone to verbalize it as much as some of the biblical writers did. We don’t want to appear weak or unbiblical (you know, shut up and suck it up you wimp) yet the virtue in putting them out there is at least you’re being honest and you actually hear what’s going on inside and sometimes that is enough to jolt us to heading towards a biblical solution.
An interesting comment our writer makes in verse 83 is this: “For I am become like a bottle in the smoke”. Say what? This bottle was a wine skin which when subjected to smoky conditions would dry and crack and be rendered useless. So in poetic terms thats what he means. I just feel useless ! Yet thankfully he doesn’t just share his feelings, he shares with us how to rise above them to stay on track spiritually ! He says in verse 81, “. . .but I hope in Thy Word.” & in vs 83, “. . .yet do I not forget Thy statutes.” The devil wants us to be governed by our circumstances and allow how we then react and feel in regards to them in less than godly ways. Like the boxer knocked to the canvass, he wishes us to stay down and to let our feelings rule our hearts but the psalmist was too wise for that tactic, he knew trusting God’s Word was key !
So how are you feeling today? Do you feel useless for some reason? Feel like you just can’t take it anymore? Why not spend a little less time falling into the trap of commiserating with your feelings and more concentrating on the Word ! You really can do all things through Christ which strengthens you ! (Phil.4:13). You really aren’t useless, your His child if saved ! And NONE of His kids are useless, we are sons of God (Jn.1:12) !!
It is also wouldn’t hurt at all to talk to the Lord about how you feel as he does here: “help Thou me” (vs.86). He knows what you are going through and is a “very present help in time of trouble” (Ps.46:1). So don’t be afraid to tell how you really feel, just don’t stay down, you have the resources to get up thanks to a loving Lord !!