Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,
for in you my soul takes refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
Some time ago I went through a peiod of severe clinical depression. It was the blackest, most horrific time I could ever imagine experiencing, and I can remember sitting, literally immobilized in an armchair, repeating this verse over and over again. It seemed to be the only thing that kept me going.
So I find myself wondering, what is it that carries us through a time of disaster? Is it God, or faith in God? In other words, if we find ourselves in an unbearable situation do we say, "My faith is carrying me through," or, "God is carrying me"?
Surely, in the end, it is God who carries us, not just our faith. Faith, properly placed in God Almighty and His Son Jesus Christ, shows us that it is indeed He who carries us, but it is God Himself, not our faith, even in Him, who is our refuge and our strength. If faith; if belief, then our strength is all within us. Our power is all in ourselves, in our own capacities, our own minds, and faith in anything might suffice, for a time.
But even genuine faith is a gift of God. So an extra measure of faith may be given to us to undergird us in untenable circumstances, but under that supporting faith is God Himself. Underneath are the everlasting arms