Again, Lord? Really? - Encouragement Café - February 19

Again, Lord? Really?
 By Joan Walker Hahn

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give usthe light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.  2 Corinthians 4:6 NIV

Depression is not easily explained to someone who has never experienced it.  The best description I can offer is to say it feels like a very dark cloud without boundaries engulfing my very soul.  It’s like a black hole, a bottomless pit. 

It has no beginning or end, yet I’m inside it, all alone.  I can’t get out and no one can get near enough to step within the invisible barrier to offer the needed comfort.  Not that I even want anyone near at the time.  Thankfully, the cloud is not a constant presence any longer in my life as it once was. 

But there are days…

From the very moment, right before I open my eyes in the morning, I can usually sense if the cloud is hanging over me.  On the mornings when it’s there, I inwardly groan and think, “Again, Lord?  Really?”

I have learned things that help me cope with the depression.  I’ve learned prayer and Bible reading is essential.  I’ve learned the truth in this verse about my thoughts:  “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”Philippians 4:8 NIV

But there are still times when it’s not as easily handled.  I have often wondered what God’s purpose is in my struggle.  Why does He allow it?

I haven’t received an answer yet, but I cling to the promise that it’s for my good, somehow. 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28 NIV

I have to say that the last several years have brought things into my life on which I know God had His hand.  I’ve had glimpses of things for which the phrase, “only God,” was the answer.  Miracles and healings have taken place.  Conversations and moments shared with God have given me a deeper understanding of some things that I would not otherwise have understood. 

In those moments, when I realized God had moved, I was overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed that He loved me that much!  Could it be I would not realize the depth of His love as deeply had I not experienced the depth of sorrow I’ve known? 

Perhaps, I would not be as eagerly looking for glimpses of Him in every circumstance had I not felt the many times that He was nowhere around?  Maybe my prayers of wanting to experience a deeper fellowship with Him were answered by me having to cry to Him in desperation for my next breath when I was suffocating in darkness?  What I once felt was a huge weakness of mine was the very thing that strengthened me.

All I know is that now I do search for His fingerprints on everything.  Things that some people say are only a coincidence, I know it is God.  When prayers are answered, I know it is God.  When something bad happens, yet I see someone turning to Christ out of the rubble, I know it is God. 

I’ve experienced moments where the movement of God was unmistakable and undeniable.  It’s become thrilling looking for Him and finding that He’s done something amazing.  I’ve gotten to the point when I see His hand, I excitedly say, “Again, Lord? Really?” 

If you are dealing with depression, or know someone that is, please talk about it.  Know that you are not alone!  Don’t feel ashamed to seek help from a professional, but above all, draw strength from our Father through meditating on His Word and in prayer.  You are stronger than you think!

May we all keep looking for glimpses of Him and say, “Yes, Lord!  Please, do it again!”

Heavenly Father, Thank You for loving me!  Help me when I feel the cloud of depression settling down, to keep my focus on You.  Allow me to have glimpses of Your glory, Lord!  May I draw nearer to You each day as I spend time in prayer and in Your Word.  Please strengthen me as only You can.  Thank You, Father!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

© 2019 by Joan Walker Hahn.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Monday, 19 February 2024.