|When life is rough||| Print ||
"He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand” Psalm 40:2
What do you do when your isolated bad day drifts towards an extended cycle of sadness and depression? Sure, you know that the Bible promises abundant life, peace that passes all understanding, and joy that is unspeakable and full of glory, but what do you do when the lack of hope that you feel and the lack of energy that you experience make those feel like empty dreams?
Well, as much as I hate to admit it, I have experienced this type of emotional attack in the past. My challenges came as some key relationships in my life began to fall apart. A friendship that had offered stability for years disappeared without explanation. At the same time a very serious dating relationship ended abruptly. The people that I typically processed life’s challenges with were gone, leaving me floating in a sea of questions with no one to talk me back to shore.
The lonely moments were the worst. When I was at church or school idle conversation distracted me, but when I was alone in my room, the questions seemed to echo through the silence.
My pit of despair and discouragement lasted for several weeks, but then I began to hear it. Maybe I should say, feel it. After a couple of weeks clothed in self-pity and bathing in my funk, I began to sense the Lord drawing me. I knew that He was wanting me to focus on Him, and I knew that He wanted to encourage me.
For the past month, every time I was alone, I had allowed my thoughts to dwell on the relationships that had gone awry, and I knew that God was asking me to focus on the One relationship that would never disappear.
It took Him several days to convince me that it was worth changing my focus, but when I did I sensed something completely different invade my presence. Instead of hopelessness, I began to feel hope. Rather than the questions that were haunting my mind, I knew that God offered the answer (Jesus) to every meaningful question.
It took about 3 days, one weekend, for me to really shift my position from the emotionally challenged teen struggling to smile to the “I can make it through anything because my God is good and I know He is with me” perspective that I try to live with, but since then I have learned a lot. I have discovered that no matter what the world throws at me, God is loving and He can bring good out of it. I have learned that no relationship can do for me what only God can. And, I embraced the fact that my God will never leave my side.
So, when your world becomes a challenge and things that you never thought would break do, what will you do? Will you sink into your room and give in to the onslaught or will you reach out to God and discover that He is with you and able to help you through the toughest of times?