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Walking In The Dark

depressed

By Laura Gantenbein

A quagmire of quicksand for our feet…raging waters knocking us flat…darkness complete and smothering…loss of hope and peace. Soul-robbery…groaning night and day…joyless, hopeless…minds without anchor roving through dark wastes and barren places. Hands that fall limply into laps and sapped strength and a spirit of heaviness. No margin, no elasticity, no resilience, no bounce-back ability, no stretching—just crumbling, crashing, soul-crouching
misery.

Depression.

I existed in that dark barren land for a long three years of my life. It marked me and changed me, but in the end taught me deep and precious truths about God and His ways with His children.

Each of us faces a sobering variety of painful, faith-trying, gut-wrenching circumstances that take us beyond our own human ability to cope. What do we do then? With what truths of Scripture do we comfort ourselves?

I learned to throw myself upon my Savior—the One who ordained and chose these trials for me, who shaped and molded them, and gently placed them in my midst.

This Savior is a God of love, He is good, and He is all knowing—so that ultimately we can rejoice in all things—because behind all of our trials and tribulations stands the Lord and His eternal kind-intentioned will and good purpose.

Boy, I went screaming to His door with all of my might. Over and over. And He met me and helped me. Not how I would have asked Him to, not by any means as quickly as I would have desired, and not by pulling me out of the dark trial by the scruff of the neck and placing me in the light again. No.

But He walked with me, beside me, and taught me to rely on the truth of His word even when I couldn’t see it or feel it. He did not take me out of the raging waters; He actually kept me under them to a higher purpose.

In the dark I clung tightly to His word, and one verse in particular was a comforting help to me.

“Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of His servant…that walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on His God.” (Isaiah 50:10)

Several times throughout that chapter in Isaiah it declares, “It’s the Sovereign Lord who helps me.”

Let me tell you, all I could do sometimes was reach my hand up and hold tight to Him—clinging to Him with all my might.

Suffering in the land of depression surely strips away any self-confidence and everything else we might depend upon but Him. And this is HIS work! He gives us no promises for a life of ease; He never tells us we will have perfect health or even draw another breath. He does not always stay the awful things that can happen in this life.

But they are tools in His hands to shape and mold us and chip away at us until we are perfect in His sight. And the work that He began on our day of salvation He will complete; He will continue to ‘carpenter’ us. That was like THE good news to me. He had not thrown in the towel or given me over as too hard a nut to crack. This was His specific assigned portion for me—His beloved, precious, imperfect child.

Do not lose hope. Look up.

Bio:

Laura Gantenbein writes, ” I am the wife of one good man and the mother of four delightful daughters. I love Jesus, God’s truthful word, my dear girlfriends, quilting, writing, mentoring, teaching, and home schooling my last remaining chickadee. My heart is full of gratefulness to God Most High for richly blessing my life and filling it – even in the midst of trials and troubles – with all good things. Please visit my blog at: It’s Just Life: Encouragements Along the Way.