“I Wish I Could Fly Away”: An Analogy for Depression Struggles in Psalm 55

“I Wish I Could Fly Away”: An Analogy for Depression Struggles in Psalm 55 August 28, 2021

This gloomy, stormy weather these last two weeks has been horrendous for my depression. Yesterday at work was especially bad. Even with my Wellbutrin and Vitamin D in my system, the lack of sleep this atrociously hot and humid week’s given me compounded my symptoms, especially the irrational feelings of hopelessness.

Last night, I looked up Bible verses about rest, and I found this line from Psalm 55:

“And I say, ‘Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest’…”

Psalm 55:6

It was a huge, gratifying shock to see this sentiment captured in a Psalm. Not to mention, finding a parallel between the Old Testament and my favorite Annie Lennox song “Little Bird”!

Here’s an extended portion of the Psalm:

“My heart is in anguish within me;
    the terrors of death have fallen on me.
Fear and trembling have beset me;
    horror has overwhelmed me.
 I said, ‘Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
    I would fly away and be at rest.
 I would flee far away
    and stay in the desert;
 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
    far from the tempest and storm.’”

Psalm 55:4-8

I know that Psalm 55 is mostly about dealing with enemies and that in one stanza, it addresses the pain of betrayal from a former friend. As somebody who struggles against depression, I see this Psalm as a perfect analogy for the exhausting, perpetual war we fight against the lies our depression feeds us. We fight an endless war against enemies invisible to everybody else, and some days, it feels like we’re losing.

Check out this part of the Psalm!

“As for me, I call to God,

    and the Lord saves me.

 Evening, morning and noon

    I cry out in distress,

    and He hears my voice.

 

He rescues me unharmed

    from the battle waged against me,

    even though many oppose me.

 God, who is enthroned from of old,

    who does not change—

he will hear them and humble them,

    because they have no fear of God.”

Psalm 55:16-19

Every day, God helps me overcome all of the awful lies depression throws at me. For me, I struggle a lot against the fear that I’m just endlessly repeating a pointless cycle every week. God dispels that irrational lie with gentle, rational reminders about why we have objective hopes for the future.

Please don’t ever hesitate to call on God the instant you need help. Nobody should ever feel that they’re alone in their fight against mental illnesses. Peace be with you, friends, wherever you are.

“Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you. He will never permit the righteous to be moved.”

Psalm 55:22

Featured Image by Connor Brennan

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