How Do You Praise God When You Feel Like You’re Drowning?

For today’s post, I decided to share a post from an old blog of mine. This post was written in 2013, but it kind of reflects how I’m feeling at this moment.

Following God’s path isn’t always the easiest thing to do. In fact, it can be pretty difficult. We know it’s right, we know it’s what we should do, but there are times when we just want to curl up into the fetal position and let the world go on however it wants.

We’ve heard multiple times that we need to praise God in the storms. But sometimes our storms don’t feel like storms. They feel more like stress that we don’t want to deal with, or a mood that has us down for some reason that even we can’t figure out.

It’s in these times when I feel the most lost, when I struggle the most.


In Psalm 69, verses 1-3, David cries:

“Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck.  I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold.  I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me.  I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched.  My eyes fail, looking for my God.”

The night I read those verses I was exhausted.  I knew that I couldn’t go to sleep without first cracking open my Bible and reading at least a Psalm or two.  And this is the Psalm I read.

As I read it I felt as if it were me calling out.  This is how I felt, though before I read this I couldn’t describe it.  I felt like I was drowning.  I felt overwhelmed, and I was slipping.  I’ve been working hard and thanking God for everything He has allowed in my life, but there seemed to be something holding me back, something trying to get in the way.

It’s not gone yet, but I am made aware of it, and I need to put all of my trust in Him who created all things.  He will get me out of the depths that I feel I am sinking into.

If I just grab hold of His life raft I can be free.  What I need to remember, though, is that this is a time of testing.

This morning I did devotions with my daughter before sending her on her way to Chess Club at school.  Today’s devotion was about dark days versus light days.  During our light days, everything goes well, and we feel like we’re on cloud nine.  The devotion says that His Light mixes with ours.

But on those dark days, those days where nothing seems to be going right, that’s when we need to make sure to seek His Light.  The devotion says that that’s when God is testing us, training us to seek His Light.  It’s those dark days where we feel most vulnerable.  All we need to do is turn to Him.

The chorus from Casting Crowns’ song, “I’ll Praise You in This Storm” just came to my mind:

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

That’s exactly what I’m talking about.  We need to praise Him not only when our times are good, but also when they are bad.  We need to remember that He is good, and each storm that passes is a way to make us stronger. 

He wants us to cry out to Him.  We should not be too proud to admit when we feel like we are sinking (yes, that’s a huge problem for me, which is why I’m just now writing this).  He is there to lift us up; all we need to do is cry out, lift up our hands, and praise the Lord God Almighty because He will never leave our side.

Instead of embracing what could be his fate, David asks God to save him.  In verses 14-17 he says:

“Rescue me from the mire, do not let me sink; deliver me from those who hate me, from the deep waters.  Do not let the floodwaters engulf me or the depths swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me.  Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me.  Do not hide your face from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.”

We should learn from David’s example.  He wasn’t too proud to call out when he was in trouble, and he called out to the only One who could really help him.  There is no problem too great for God, and even if we slip, He will grab hold of us.  All we need to do is ask.  He is always with us, and He will never forsake us.

Dear Lord Jesus, I praise You in good times and in bad, for You are always good.  Help me to remember that no matter how far I feel I may slip, how deep the waters around me, You will always be there to pick me up.  Thank you, Lord God.

I’m going to add a little more to this thought. Yes, we definitely need to reach out, to cry out, to God during these times. But God has a wonderful gift that He has given each and every one of us.

This gift He has given us is the gift of relationship. Friends, family, church body. We were never meant to be alone, it’s not what God wants for us. Therefore, we need to reach out to someone we trust and talk to them. Heck, even just getting together with them for a cup of coffee, a movie, or a walk can help lift your spirits.

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2 thoughts on “How Do You Praise God When You Feel Like You’re Drowning?

  1. I love this and relate so well, so often I don’t let in anyone during these times, but I am learning.
    Psalm 34:17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.
    I know I have close friends I can turn to in these times too now.

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