I remember a time in my life when I had sunk into a depression. I was getting the help I needed, but feared that I would feel that way forever. That was a real despair- seeing no way to break out of this dark time, which led to fear that I was doomed to live this way forever. I waited a long time for happier days to come.

Have you ever felt that way? A long wait for something you feared may never come? The darkness and despair of hope lost? The 40 days of Lent can remind us that these feelings are very human.

In that dark time in my own life, I fell upon a verse from Psalm 40, but in an interpretation I hadn’t read before.

Here’s how I typically hear it from the New International Version:

Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the Lord, he turned to me and heard my cry…

But here’s how it’s paraphrased in The Message:

I waited and waited and waited for God.
At last he looked; finally he listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
to make sure I wouldn’t slip.

Psalm 40:1-2

This describes exactly how I felt in that season! I waited and waited and WAITED for God.

If you feel like you’ve been waiting and waiting, and that God seems distant, I encourage you to read Psalm 40 in The Message to hear it with fresh ears. It might be just what you need today to break fear and despair as you wait on God.

Has your waiting turned to despair? Are you looking down a tunnel yet not seeing any light? Ask God to speak hope into your waiting and to set your feet on high, solid ground again.