Finding Hope in Despair
The book of Job is difficult to read. It has gotten even more challenging since I faced those 10 weeks in 2018. But it is part of my daily reading right now, so I am trudging through it. Last week, my reading of Job reminded me of a beautiful fall day, but there was no beauty for my eyes that day. The following gives you a picture of that moment in time for me.
I am sitting on the side of the hill, watching the autumn colors dance in the wind. The rich reds, warm oranges and sunny yellows leaping about should make my heart happy, but all I feel is the black cloud that takes up the foggy recesses of my mind.
How did I get here? When did this darkness overwhelm me? I am trapped in a dark world without even a sliver of light. If there is no light, is there no hope?
I cry out to God. I praise Him and I beg Him. Can He hear me? Is this darkness keeping Him from me?
The leaves gently kiss my cheeks, the soft caress should make me smile. Instead, the fog is clawing at me, choking me, taking my breath away. It’s taking my life away.
I am exhausted, but there is no rest. I am afraid, but I don’t know what is causing this incessant fear. I am alone, but the room is full of people.
I long for the comfort of my Savior, but the shadows have driven Him away. My soul is weeping, but there is no sound for Him to hear. I am falling into the abyss; will He catch me?
“I am seeking you Lord; will you deliver me from my fears?” Silence.
“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” Silence
All I hear is silence, but the silence is shrieking in this darkness. I am suffocating from this silence – where is the quiet? Where is the joy? Why am I in this misery?
I want to breathe again. I want to hear Your voice again. If you don’t come soon, this darkness will overcome me and I will be gone! Please, I beg you, rescue me from this despair.
Holy Father, I know that You are who You say You are! I know that You will be the one standing in the new earth and new heaven. But today I just need to feel Your presence again! When will You come for me? Oh God! If not today, please tomorrow!
I spent 70 days living in this darkness; every day hoping for a better tomorrow. There were many days that the hours ticked by with my face to the floor, begging for relief. But it didn’t come quickly.
Finally, with the help of a doctor, I was able to break free from the clutches of depression and fight my way out of the grip of the fog and breath again.
I still have so many questions about this time. Why did it happen? Will it happen again? And yes, where was my God?
Today, as I studied Job, I found a nugget of hope that I have never seen there before. In Job 19:25, I read “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.”
It is incredible that Job, in the depths of his despair, still understood that God was able to redeem him and that God would vindicate him, if not today than when this life was over.
Job, a man that God himself proclaimed to be righteous, knew that God was who He said He was without the advantage of hearing the teachings of Jesus. He was able to offer unwavering faith, even in his darkest days.
We, like Job, wonder why this happens. We wonder where God is. And we wonder if it will end. But today we can put our hope in this truth, Our redeemer lives! And in the end He will still be standing on the earth!