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Black days, storm, and Psalm 42

12 Sep

Sometimes in life you experience overwhelming emotional darkness. As a believer in Jesus Christ the son of the living and sovereign God I may remember to cling to this knowledge of Him. Other times I get lost in my circumstances and my heart feels like it is in black days. In the middle 90’s the grunge rock band Soundgarden came out with a song called “Fell On Black Days” the first verse of the song is:

Whatsoever I’ve feared has come to life
Whatsoever I’ve fought off became my life
Just when everyday seemed to greet me with a smile
Sunspots have faded
And now I’m doing time
Cause I fell on black days

The song lyrics are depressing and do not provide even a glimmer of hope. But they sound very personal and have much in common with the human heart in times of despondency. Hence the popularity of the song when it came out.


Many songs have been written expressing the same brooding and depression, especially from the grunge bands like Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam. I still like to listen to those songs once in awhile but they can be depressing if I listen to them too often. A few months ago I encountered a similar song by the rock band Lifehouse. Similar only in the sense of the writer expressing deep emotional pain. But different because the author does present a hope in the circumstances. The song is called “Storm” and I would like to present to you the lyrics below.

how long have I
been in this storm
so overwhelmed by the ocean’s shapeless form
water’s getting harder to tread
with these waves crashing over my head

if I could just see you
everything will be alright
if I’d see you
the storminess will turn to light

and I will walk on water
and you will catch me if I fall
and I will get lost into your eyes
and everything will be alright
and everything will be alright

I know you didn’t
bring me out here to drown
so why am I 10 feet under and upside down
barely surviving has become my purpose
cause I’m so used to living underneath the surface

if I could just see you
everything will be alright
if I see you
the storminess will turn to light

and I will walk on water
and you will catch me if I fall
and I will get lost into your eyes
and everything will be alright

and I will walk on water
you will catch me if I fall
and I will get lost into your eyes
and everything will be alright
I know everything is alright
everything’s alright

The author knows that there is hope and he has someone he can depend on. Having read about the singer and songwriter of Lifehouse Jason Wade, I believe he knows that God is whom he can turn to. Many of his lyrics are spiritually based. I only pray the band were more bold in their lyrics. As for the song “Storm” (above) , when I first heard the lyrics it reminded me of a Psalm. While reading through Psalm 42 today I understand why. The mood of the Psalm is much like the song lyrics. The authors are both experiencing great sorrow and seem to be cast down in their very souls. I love to read and meditate on this Psalm. When I am going through rough emotional circumstances I can turn to this Psalm and be encouraged by the faith and dependence of it’s author toward almighty God the ultimate sustainer of souls.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God. (Psalm 42:11)

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2 Comments

Posted by on September 12, 2007 in Lifehouse, Psalm 42, Soundgarden

 

2 responses to “Black days, storm, and Psalm 42

  1. pastorsteve

    September 13, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    Barry,
    I can see where you would like to listen to “soundgarden” for the heavy use of guitars (especially the bass guitar) in their music. I must admit that I do enjoy that element to their music.

    Your identification of the lyrics is spot on with other bands such as Nirvana and other grunge bands. The depressive lyrics are always attributed to living in the weather induced climate of the Northwest. However, I think for some of those bands it may be the drug culture. The heart cries out for what makes sense in the midst of being depraved by sin. What does it find? Recreation drugs that seem satisfying but only leave a great hole of despair. That is why Alice in Chains (not really grunge) is so laden with lyrics that reference drugs on the one side of the coin and depression on the other side of the coin.

    Without Jesus Christ, life is a grunge concert in Seattle.

     
  2. barrydean

    September 13, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    Wow. Great analogy Steve. “Without Jesus Christ, life is a grunge concert in Seattle.” Can I use that?

    I think Pat would know where we’re coming from on this too.

    I appreciate the comment.

     

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