June 18, 2014

When the way seems muddled...

It is a good Wednesday. I am well, living well in this good place that the Lord has provided to me. I wonder about His presence today, and I think about whether He hears me. Why do I do this? I mean, I hear His voice in the quiet moments, and I recognize His presence in my life in so many ways -- still -- I wonder, I doubt, I fail to stand up and believe that the Lord is near to me. I wish I were strong all the time, you know, the mighty strong like so many of the people in the OT. I wish I could stand up and shout down my enemies and know that I am fearful and mighty in the strength of the Lord. The truth is that I am all of that and so much more -- it is just my fear -- fear that plagues me and surrounds me at times. My fears are great, and at times, they overwhelm me. I shouldn't be afraid anymore, really, I shouldn't be afraid. The Lord goes before me, He stands beside me, and He enfolds me in His security. I have nothing to fear -- and yet -- fear consumes me at times. It literally overwhelms my soul. I shrink back and think I have made this all up, I have stepped forward in a place where I do not belong, and I am walking on in my own way. Why, Lord? Why do I do this all the time?

I read once that Charles Spurgeon suffered from severe depression. I cannot imagine what that must have been like, to be severely depressed and to live in a time when there was no medication available to help counteract that deep and dark blackness. Yet, Spurgeon is remembered for his depth of faith, and his strong testimony regarding the Lord's provision in his life. Yes, we read his "gems" and we find inspiration from them. Sometimes we are convicted by the truth in them, but mostly, we are encouraged to keep on keeping on -- no matter how difficult the path may be, no matter the task set before us, and no matter the plan God has in mind for us. Spurgeon suffered with deep depression, and yet, he used that experience to convey his depth of dependency upon God. We are the recipients of his struggles, his trials, and we are able to be blessed by his faith in overcoming everything that held him down and back. He overcame, and we too shall overcome!

As I consider my life today, I cannot help but find sympathy for this great man. I share an affinity with his struggle, for I too have suffered (or do suffer) with depression. I am thankful that my depression is not so heavy and oppressive, well at least not now. At one time, I did suffer from horrible depression, and my life felt empty and purposeless. However, thanks be to God, I am now on a path that leads me onward toward the life He has created for me. I still get overwhelmed, and at times, I become very depressed over my performance, my sin, my failings. The Lord listens to me, and He answers my prayers. He delivers me from all my fears, and in doing so, He enables me to get up and keep moving forward. I may struggle, today or tomorrow, but in the end I will surely overcome. He will lead me on to the end of my days, and He will safeguard me, shepherd me, and secure for me a way, His way, from this life on into eternity. I am thankful for His grace, and I am thankful for His abiding Spirit, who guides me and instructs me in all things. I know that my way is clear, my path is straight, and my hope securely fastened to the One who has gone before me. God is good, God is good, God is so very good.

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