When Your Soul Is Downcast - The Warrior's Journey®
Deep Loss

When Your Soul Is Downcast

Marines on the rifle range. Photo by Marines is licensed under CC By 2.0

Have you ever hit a wall emotionally and felt there was no way you could express your feelings?

When pain, stress and sorrow reach critical levels, you can become bound up inside with no easy release in sight. This passage is written for just such experiences:

“Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance,” (Psalm 42:5, NKJV).

The Passage

Even secular mental health experts now concede that spirituality is necessary for helping individuals move beyond the debilitating effects of emotional trauma. Emotional processing and healing must involve the spiritual realm. God created us with emotions for a purpose. This passage clearly points to Him as the best target for our emotional release.

Just as you go to a range to fire your weapon at properly designated targets, the proper target for your emotional energy is God. He knows what you are feeling. He cares. Although loved ones and friends are vital partners in your recovery, your spouse, children, co-workers and fellow warriors aren’t designed to withstand the full impact of your emotional fire. But God can handle anything you might shoot His way.

The psalmist chooses to focus on God as his hope. Clarity of mind, hope and peace follow the emotional release. You can make that same choice and receive that same comfort. That doesn’t mean you must make the journey alone. Be quick to ask your chaplain, minister or pastoral counselor for help in dealing with your emotions if this is a difficult area for you.

Be Real with God

In the middle of a mission, you may have to ignore painful emotions until a more opportune time. You can’t stop on the battlefield to process feelings. But when you step off the battlefield, you must begin to work through those emotions. The military does a good job training you to turn off feelings in battle, but it takes more than a manual to help you recover your emotional equilibrium when you return to base or home. Remember, all human relationships involve feelings. Constantly shutting down your emotions will destroy you! Follow the psalmist’s example. Be completely open and honest with God and walk with Him to a place of renewed peace.


The content of this article comes from “The Warrior’s Bible” (2014) and is copyrighted by Life Publishers International. Used with permission.

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