Saturday, 4 January 2014

Caught in the darkness

These past few months has been a challenge especially on the lead up to Christmas.  Busyness and stress seem to be the norm.  In November I was able to take some leave for the month and to be honest it was much needed.  One would think that a month away would allow you to become refreshed and ready to take on the world.  For me however, the opposite has been true.  These past two months have probably been the darkest I have experienced for a while.  This year has been extremely full on and as I look back over the year I have to wonder what I have been able to accomplish.  It feels as though nothing has been done.  To top it all off I am now in a spiritual and physical place I really don't want to be.

For over ten years now I have been battling with many personal issues; one of which is anxiety.  Throughout my college experience this anxiety began to reveal itself in many ways to the point where I didn't think I would survive.  Spiritually I went backwards.  In recent months this anxiety has raised it's head again and in recent weeks I have been diagnosed with depression.  I have been fighting for a long time to avoid the need for medication however this time it has been a necessity.  Is this simply a physical issue or is it a spiritual one?  Well for me I think it is definitely both.  I have done the counseling and now I am on the medication. You may have noticed that my facebook account is now inactive.  This has been done intentionally as I simply cannot handle social interaction at the moment.  In hindsight this has been beneficial for me and I don't really miss facebook at all.  One day I may reactivate my account but for now I am enjoying being away from it.

In recent days I have been reflecting on solomon's words in ecclesiastes 1:1-11.

 The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:
“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.”
What do people gain from all their labors
    at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go,
    but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets,
    and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
    and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
    ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea,
    yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
    there they return again.
All things are wearisome,
    more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
    nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
    “Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
    it was here before our time.
11 No one remembers the former generations,
    and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
    by those who follow them.

Solomon's words reflect my thoughts over recent months.  What is the point? why even bother when all will be forgotten.  Everything is meaningless.  This is how you think when you are in that place of darkness.  Being told to cheer up or to get over it simply escalates the problem.  This darkness is a horrible and sometimes terrifying place to be.  It is safe to assume that when Solomon the wisest man who has ever lived wrote these words he was in a bad place.  Life must have been pretty tough.  You know it can be so easy to dwell on this stuff; so easy to get caught up in the negative thoughts; so easy to make decisions based on how we are feeling rather than what God is calling us to do.  In the middle of all of this and as I began to relate to Solomon, God reminded me of a scripture which I believe is the best of His promises.  This scripture is very dear to me and I love how God reminds us of His absolute truth in times of great need.  God knows our every need and He speaks at just the right time.  Here is what He has reminded me of in recent days.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:31-39

You know our enemy the devil tries many ways to destroy us.  1 Peter 5:8 warns us that our "enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.Anxiety and Depression is a horrible illness that is certainly not from God.  For many it is a physical issue where the chemical inbalance needs to be restored and medication certainly helps that.  For others the issue is of the spiritual nature.  Either way it is an illness of the enemy and he tries in many ways to bring us down by polluting our minds.  God however, reminds us in His word that He is bigger and more powerful than anything the enemy can throw at us.  It is hard when you are in this place to think of anything positive but as we reflect on words like those found in Romans 8 we are filling our minds with the things of heaven.  The very things that will assist us in fighting back against our enemy.  I love the reminder that no matter what we are going through, no matter how hard it appears to be or how useless we feel God is right there with us.  Nothing can separate us from the love and saving power of Jesus. As I continue my physical and spiritual battle I praise God that He is with me; that He will never abandon or give up on me. I praise Him for a wonderful wife and for those who are upholding my family in prayer.  In the middle of the darkness is the brightest light; His name is Jesus.

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
“Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 
 Isaiah 41:10, 43:18-19

No comments:

Post a Comment