Psalm 42:3 says:
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”
Have you ever been so sad and have cried so much it was as if you were being sustained by your tears and not food? And have you ever been so sad or depressed that all those around you said things like, "Where's that God you believe in, now?" or "If you just believed a little more you wouldn't feel so bad." or better yet, "You just need to get over it." Sometimes there's that very legalistic person who reminds you that you can't get over the sadness hurdle because you probably have some sin you have not confessed and it's God's punishment.
Or maybe you were so sad and so depressed you questioned if God even remembered you. You wondered if He was real or there or if it was all just a big joke on you. How do some go about their days so carefree and you feel the weight of everyone's world on your shoulders?
The writer of Psalm 42 really gets it. Thankfully over and over he says, "Why are you so downcast, O my soul?" We aren't alone when we sometimes don't know what our tears are about. And sometimes we do know. He references enemies, oppression and opposition. Sometimes the people in our lives make it impossible to live without tears. Sometimes our relationships are hurtful, not what we had hoped for or are colored and stitched with cutting remarks and betrayal.
We wish we could pull the plug on that darkness and let it drain out of us. I'm not so sure we are ever free and clear from wages of sin on this side of heaven. I believe that bit of darkness and suffering is used by the Lord to turn our faces up and toward Him. He is the life giver. The Psalmist offers us the sure fire solution to our tearful dilemmas. It is praise. Over and over in Psalm 42 and throughout all of Scripture we are told to praise the Lord. No matter what is set before us.
God promises us in 42:8 that, "by day he commands his steadfast love and by night his song is within me." He loves us with an everlasting love no matter what the world presents to us. The last line of Psalm 42 says, "Hope in God, for I shall praise Him again..." Again and again. Even when things don't look praiseworthy. Find something, anything for which to thank Him. He is faithful to heal our tears through thanksgiving.