Wednesday, September 12, 2012


There is a clinical diagnosis of depression with many, many people struggle with.  The feeling down, the feeling blue, even feeling hopeless.  Many of us struggle with depression, occasionally feeling down, the feelings of blah.  It stinks, it can be chronic and follow you around like a cloud.  If you struggle with depression, I pray that you find a way out and find joy again in your life.

There is another feeling that is similar to depression, and sometimes in life it finds us.  We lose a job, we love a loved one, we hit a wall, the end of options.  We run out of money, out of time, out of luck.  An overwhelming feeling of darkness, an ache that goes down into your soul.  A pain that shuts down all other emotions, the feelings of despair.

Elijah had despair, he said it was better for him to die, hiding from a queen, fearing for his life, feeling left alone.  He was at the end of his rope.  He was in the depth of despair.  David found himself in despair, his son wanted his throne, his son ends losing his life, and this is not the first time David was in danger.  David knew despair, and the book of Psalms is filled with the cries from his heart.  Job felt despair, sitting in a pile of ashes, scraping his sores with pieces of broken pottery.  These men have all found that place where darkness surrounds them and their soul is weighed down by the weight of fear and pain.  They were in the midst of despair.

Perhaps you have felt or are feeling the crushing weight of despair.  Perhaps you have lost something, or you have too much of something you don't want.  Maybe your depression has built into more depression, crushing you under it's weight until it squeezes all of the hope from your soul.  Maybe illness or loss or absence together has crushed your spirit and you feel like all you can do is stare at the wall.  Do you feel like you can't get any traction?  Do you have goals and dreams and desires, but you can't seem to make anything in your life work?  Do you feel like you want to sit in ashes in burlap, alone with nothing being said, just the sound of your tears falling to the ground?  Do you connect, can you relate?

The pain has a purpose, and I know that seems hard.  As I write these words, I am battling some despair myself, but I know the pain has a purpose.  Despair causes us to look upwards, to wish and to hope.  Despair can cause us to pray and to seek and to knock.  Despair makes us vulnerable and God moves in our lives the most when we are the most hurt, if we will let Him.  God will come in and bring hope and faith to our despair and pain, but only if we will allow Him.  Too often we tell God to get lost, and He is a gentleman and He will be absent if we tell Him to be absent.  Sometimes our selfishness, our need to feel good or feel better will chase away the only cure.  We blame God for our despair instead of looking for the purpose of our despair.

Struggle is never welcome, and no one wants to be in the grips of crippling depression.  No one wants to feel despair, or to lose hope.  No one wants to hurt, but we hurt.  Despair will give us an opportunity to find a deeper relationship with our creator.  Being in right relationship with God, being close with God, having intimacy with God is much more that having worldly happiness.  We can pursue happiness, but we will always be back to despair.  It is fleeting, the only real purpose and joy comes from knowing God.  Learn to love God through the joy and despair.

1 comment:

  1. Dan, I'd like to discuss this with you. I know more than a little about it. Could you email me at mightyfowl(at), please?