The No-Name Infirmity

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?... O my God, my soul is cast down within me” (Psalm 42:5-6, NKJV).

Scholars aren’t certain who the writer of this psalm is, but we do know for sure that something is bothering him. His soul is deeply disturbed, and he can’t explain why. This psalmist is on fire for God. He pants after the Lord the way a deer pants for water (see Psalm 42:1), thirsting after the Lord, yearning for intimacy. He asks, “When shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalm 42:2).

We never do learn what the psalmist’s infirmity is. Have you ever experienced this kind of unexplainable melancholy and unexpected, unnamed spiritual blues? You’re doing just fine and have no known sins in your life, but one day you wake up with a disturbance deep in your soul. Some kind of depression has come over you, and you can’t put your finger on it.

I have good news for you. This is an infirmity of the righteous! It strikes only those who hunger after Jesus. We are not to be afraid of such an infirmity because the Holy Spirit has a part in it.

I have experienced enough of life to know that a time comes when this happens to every Christian. We mustn’t try to figure it out because we can’t. As far as we know, the psalmist never did get his “why” answers. 

I believe this strange infirmity is “the sighing of the Holy Spirit” within us. He is letting us know what it feels like to be without God, to be on our own without comfort, hope or guidance. He allows us to experience just a taste of such an awful, horrible condition because our bodies are his temple, and he has been sent to prepare us a chaste bride to Christ. He knows what it takes to keep us unspotted for the bridegroom. 

Most importantly, the Spirit knows how important it is for us to cry out to God for daily strength and power. We simply cannot stand in this time unless we are intimate with the Lord, trusting in him fully and constantly fleeing into his presence. These sighings in our spirits are reminders of where our true source of power and hope lies!