The stealthy hand of discouragement put a chokehold on me and dragged me into the quicksand of depression. I was sinking fast. Beside myself, I wrestled, which only pulled me down further. Finally, as I let go of my wanting-to-fix-this-myself attitude, I cried and poured out my heart to God.
“Please, God, please don’t let me sink into depression again. What’s wrong? Why am I so downhearted when I have so many blessings? I see them, and I’m so grateful. I don’t understand this, Lord. This discouragement takes hold of me and won’t let me go. Please, God, please, help me to rest in You. Help, God, help… I’m sinking…”
I’ve been struggling with learning to embrace instead of fight against my chronic illness, but when I get achy and worn out or I get sick again, courage and comfort drain away sometimes. My mind weakly tries to grasp the promises, but my heart won’t always let them in.
I don’t always want to talk or write about this, because I don’t want to sound like a whiner. But the reality is there. Not only for me, but also for you.
You may not have a chronic illness, but there are so many other losses, burdens, or heartaches we all deal with every day in one way or another. And they are, oh, so real. Maybe you have tried, like me, to tell yourself, “There are those who have it worse than me, so I shouldn’t complain.” But that doesn’t help us deal with and grieve our own losses. Acknowledging and grieving our own pain helps us to cope better in life.
No matter what your trial is, I’m so sorry you have to go through it. It is real and it hurts really bad. And no matter what anyone says, whether it’s others’ or your own criticizing voice, you can’t live fully and freely with it unless you acknowledge how much it hurts you and you grieve over its presence in your life.
That day when I was sinking down, the relief did not come right away, but God was gracious and He heard my cry. These words seeped as a soothing balm into my troubled heart, and I hope they will in yours as well:
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled
and do not be afraid.”
He promises HIS PEACE. Not will give, but He says “I give.” Right now, this moment. And His peace can take away the trouble and fear in our hearts.
I knew this verse was in John 14, so I read that chapter. It’s amazing. Jesus is preparing a room for us in His Father’s house, a better place for us hereafter. The pain we feel now is nothing compared to the joy He is preparing for us.
Sometimes my heart is so homesick for Him, to be with Him forever where nothing will hinder us from praising Him fully and completely. Won’t that be a glorious day?
Then one of the twenty-four elders asked me, “Who are these who are clothed in white? Where did they come from?”
And I said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.”
Then he said to me, “These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.
That is why they stand in front of God’s throne
and serve Him day and night in His Temple.
And He who sits on the throne
will give them shelter.
They will never again be hungry or thirsty;
they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun.
For the Lamb on the throne
will be their Shepherd.
He will lead them to springs of life-giving water.
And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”