This is the second post in a series of four which I wrote a while ago but didn’t want to post at the time. I’m not in the same place today that I was then; as a result, I’m tempted to edit the writing to soften or finesse it, but I’ve chosen not to!
Though the experience I describe is now historical, I’m posting the series because in the past similar posts have apparently encouraged others who sometimes walk through depression and darkness too. If you are one of those people, know that you are not alone; though he hides from you, if you have put your faith in him, he has promised never to leave or forsake you. This too shall pass.
Sometimes it has been dark for so long that you’ve lost all bearings.
Sometimes it’s been so long that you can’t even remember why you thought God led you into in this apparent darkness in the first place.
Sometimes you’ve become so disorientated that you have no idea which way is up anymore. What God wants. What you want, even.
Apart from that this would end.
That suddenly you would emerge from the valley of the shadow, that narrow path where even the rocks seem to close in on you until you are hard-pressed.
Not that you are crushed, of course. Well, so your friends want you to affirm at least. They want you to say it’s light even though it’s dark. That you know you are walking on through to victory. That you are more than a conqueror in him. They want you to call what is not as though it were, as if they forget that such audacious naming of situations belongs to One alone.
And so you trudge on, despairing of dawn. You don’t like to tell them too much about where it’s really at because you are not sure whether they’ll know how to speak his now Word to you. Platitudes, well-worn Christianese which is supposed to be apt for every occasion…you have no capacity for that when you walk this road.
Therefore you wait for him. You remind yourself that those who look to him are radiant, that they will never be put to shame. And you wonder what this is because it doesn’t feel like radiance. It feels like your trust is coming to naught, as if he is far, as if your pathetic dependence on him is leading only to shame amongst those brothers and sisters to whom you are a bit of an enigma or, worse, an embarrassment in your hopelessness.
You long for a light. Any light. Even a light of your own making. Yet you remind yourself that he who walks in darkness is enjoined to trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God and so you choose not to make your own light but set your face like flint; you tell yourself that, in the end, you will not be ashamed.
Click here to read the first post in the series.