Can I be real with you for a moment? Life hurts right now. A lot. There is so much pain going on and I have a sneaking suspicion, it’s not just me that’s feeling the gravity of all of it. There’s light. And there’s also darkness. There’s moments of joy, but lately, I feel like the waves of depression have been slowly taking over…yet again.
Have you ever watched the waves of the ocean? They’re constant. Almost peaceful. We’re familiar with their sound and back and forth motion. And for this former Maritimer, they’re comforting. Rhythmic. Calming.
As this year is starting to come to it’s end, with Christmas right around the corner, I feel I’m lacking the joy that normally comes around this time. I feel any sparks of joy I have, I’m trying to desperately cling on to, hoping that things will get better. And yet…I feel like I’m watching any joy I clasp, slip away, leaving with the tide. It’s as if the tide is going out and I’m helpless to stop it. In return, slowly, repetitively, the waves of depression keep coming in.
The worst part this time though, is that I see it coming in and settling, not just in my mind, but also in our family. It’s something that you can just sense. You know it’s there. And you feel helpless to stop it.
It’s tempting to stay there, isn’t it? Because when depression begins to seep in, rarely do we have the energy to fight it. Rarely, we feel we even can.
Although you try and try to maintain some joy, some light, some spark of happiness, those waves of depression keep coming. And the blockades you’ve set up to ward off this depression – friends, church, community, seeing the smiles of others, freedom to go out in public…without fear or even hesitation – canceled. Gone. Taken away.
When your defenses are taken away, how can you still fight? That’s where my heart and mind have been lately. And even writing this “out loud” makes me want to give up and just sob. But it can’t end like that…can it?
In the words of Dallas Holm:
There’s a heaviness inside your heart;
A weight you can’t describe, a feeling that you just can’t hide. There’s a weariness within your mind. The thoughts don’t come too clear; you feel as though I’m not so near to you. But remember, I said I’d never leave.
Trust in My Word and believe I am here, forever. I’ll never let you go.
This is all you really need to know.
Can you relate? I need to remind myself of those last four sentences. Daily, even when I least feel like it, I have to preach the gospel to myself. And that’s precisely where we find our Answer, isn’t it?
Christmas. A thrill of hope! The weary world rejoices!
Amidst the waves of depression, there are other waves: waves of HOPE! And I will, I must, I have to cling to those waves. Those are the only waves that I can put my trust in. Jesus. Hope in the form of a baby in a manger. What kind of hope is that? An infant in a feed trough?!
The best kind of hope there is. The kind of hope that Jesus brings is exactly that – newness of life! The Light that overcame the darkness. The wonderful Counselor. The Prince of peace. Immanuel. God is WITH us!
When I remind myself of the truth of the gospel, reminding myself that God is still in control, that He can still be trusted, that the kind of suffering we are enduring is really a walk in the park in comparison to so many other things…that’s when I feel it. That thrill of Hope! And not surprisingly, what follows to wrap itself around me is…peace. The Prince of peace, Himself.
Weary world, rejoice with me! There IS hope! There IS peace! There IS Immanuel. God IS with us. Even now. When darkness seems to be closing in, there is Light. And not only that…but the Light of the world that I choose to worship, is the Light that has already overcome the darkness.
“I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
So when your strongholds and defenses are taken away, where does your hope lie? How do you continue to fight?
When Jesus is the only hope I have left, it’s true that it’s then that I realize…He’s all I need. And oh, how I need Him! Every hour. Every minute.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”