Hope from the Heart of the Cave

Hope from the Heart of the Cave

God knows the ways our hearts most need to hear from him. He knows our questions, even when the ache in our souls cannot find a way to express them. So I have learned again over these past weeks, when my heart and soul have been so dry and thirsty, He is there to water me.

This world is not a safe place. Darkness and danger lurk in bedroom closets and inside the human heart. We can pretend they aren’t there by shutting our eyes and counting to ten. We hear them thumping in the night, shifting their weight, and pressing against our very sanity. And then when the door finally opens, just as we expected, all of that evil pours out. And there we stand, like paper machete dolls stuck in the hot tar, with no hope or expectation of rescue.

When the pain comes, all we can really do is crumple.

I was at work last week and walking to the cafeteria when I ran into a co-worker. She told me that a friend of ours lost her husband suddenly and without warning. There were no tearful goodbyes, only the anticipation of long, agonizingly lonely nights. I immediately called my friend and heard the choking sobs stuck in her throat. The force of her pain was like a hurricane; strong enough to topple trees and tall buildings. And my words—no one’s words for that matter—could possibly be stalwart enough to calm the winds.

I have been wondering where God is and why he allows such suffering in the midst of a personally crippling depression. One would think after all the times I’ve asked this question that I would know the answer by now. But knowledge does not comfort an aching heart. When the mind or body hurts this bad, I find it nearly impossible to be reasonable. I just need the pain to stop. The sad truth is, sometimes the force of pain is strong enough to push even the stoutest of heart over. So here I am, whimpering on the floor.

But I never remain on the floor, no matter how comfortable it is. And as crazy as it sounds, yes, depression can become a terribly comfortable routine. But I refuse to stay here because to remain immobile is to resign ones will, and I am no resigner.

My questions are big and I have been taking them to the God who is stalwart enough to hear and answer. And with great patience and perseverance, I hear his voice whispering to me. I feel a little like Elijah. I have been bruised and battered by unkind words around me, hungry and weak. I have been doing my level best to be faithful, but the darkness still overwhelms me. I am reminded once again that it is not my strength, but His that sustains me.

Depression is a thief. It steals not only the good thoughts, but all rational thought as well. Sometimes my brain is not even coherent enough to understand the Word of truth that comforts me, and that has been a very dark and dank basement to suffer in. I wake in the morning grasping for hope and see it slip out of the window.

And then He reminds me I am not alone. deep pit

He reminds me that He knows exactly how I feel.

He reminds me that His love is bigger than my biggest sorrows.

He will not abandon me.

There are some reading this who think the very idea of God is ludicrous. There are those who laugh at my faith, who pity my “foolishness”, who shake their heads in admonition at this “silly” girl. But I am comforted by my creator in ways I cannot explain or define. People have not been my help, but He has. When the floods come, He is there. When the despair drowns, He gives air for my lungs. When the darkness seeps in, He is my light. When the songs dry up, He sings to me. And I am comforted.

Today if you are lost in the whirlwind, if your heart is heavy, if the ship of your dreams has sailed and you were not on it, don’t lose heart. He sees your helpless estate and longs to comfort you. So often we are too busy flailing about in the water, and our pain is so big we can’t stop thrashing long enough to be rescued. He is there. Wait for Him. If you cry out to Him, He will come. He has promised.

“For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.” – Psalm 27:5

I am waiting and He is faithful.

Comments

  1. Thank you for these reminders. I too struggle with depression, unfortunately getting worse as I get older. I too have found Him to be the only One who will stand in the gap

    Thank you for your real and thoughtful blog. I appreciate and relate so much. It is so encouraging

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