This is the third 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.
I slowly surface from the depths of sleep’s sweet oblivion and darkness fills my view. The sun is shining brightly, the birds are singing and the faint sound of the motorway is floating through the window on the breeze. It’s my day off and all is well with the world because it’s Friday.
Except for this darkness. And the sick, tense feeling as I gear up for today’s battle, as I prepare my mind for action, to set my hope fully on the grace that will be mine one beautiful day.
I am tired of fighting to believe as I try to take ground wading through this sticky morass of fear and doubt. I am tired of reading his Word and seeing only the tale of his unending good thoughts toward me. That goodness which seems to make a mockery of what is the apparent reality of today, yesterday and two months of days before that. I have still, after thirteen years with him, not got the hang of his take on reality; I still treat what is visible as more real than the invisible, what I see as more real than what he says.
But what thirteen years have taught me is that these are the kind of stories he writes. That, for him to rescue us, we have first to be in a place from which we need rescue. That the pain and the brokenness and the I’ll-never-rise-again are part of the drama of any good story. And that, having put my life in his hands thirteen years ago, this story will end gloriously.
Or, in fact, as a friend corrected me yesterday, that as I choose to keep walking this path in the obedience of love, even now this story is glorious.
So, let me walk on, convinced that this darkness is as light to him, that he will not let my foot slip, that I will not be put to shame. Let me welcome the darkness perhaps even as gift, hard though it seems, knowing that treasures are found in darkness and that perhaps to walk in the deep places of God is, unexpectedly, sometimes to walk in the darkness of one blinded by a light too bright for weak eyes. Let me remember that in this old, old story death must always precede life, barrenness fulness and despair hope.
And let me say again, It is well, it is well with my soul.