“Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud.” Romans 8:1 MSG
As soon as I hit publish on my Peace for the Day devotional titled “But God”, it started. Oh yeah, big time, baby. I went from the mountain top joy of finally, finally being able to express in words my “but God” insights to the bottom of the Pit of Despair. That dark gray cloud of depression descended over the hole I fell into and veiled the landscape. I told a friend that I was “fighting anxiety…no good reason for feeling anxious and defeated. Not a one.”
What was the matter with me? Life was good. The family was well. We could pay our bills. I was writing. What more did I need? Yet my heart sagged under the weight of that heavy cloud. Caustic lies collected in the mist pelting me with icy drops of “you can’t, you won’t, you’ll never” as I tried to find my way through the dense fog and out of the depths.
My head told me to stop it. My sister said, “Snap out of it!” She reminded me that God was with me and he had a plan. Unfortunately, reasoning has never been able to pull me out of the land called Pit. Stuck in the muck, I vaguely remembered a line of Scripture – “there is now no condemnation”. Really? How can that be when I’m an expert at beating myself up?
God – I can’t make myself feel better. I can’t force depression to flee. But God, I can turn my focus to you and the truth of your word. So I did.
In all the years I’ve known him, has God ever failed me?
Has he finally said, “Enough of this one”, washed his hands of me, and walked away? Would the God I know do that?
Is he still gracious, full of compassion, and abounding in mercy and loving-kindness (Psalms 145:8)?
Is he still King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
Am I still the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21)? Do I still have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16)? Can I still do all thing through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)?
Yes, yes, and yes.
The knot in my stomach eased a little. There isn’t an instantaneous deliverance from the gray but there is a God who hears my cries and doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty. He grasped my arm up to the elbow with his mighty hand and bit by bit drew me up out of that horrible pit, out of the miry clay, out of the cloud, and into sunlight. His Son-light. He set my feet upon a rock, steadying my steps and establishing my goings. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise. (Psalms 40:1-3) Thank you so much Lord.