I wake up in the morning and it’s a struggle to get out of bed. The thought of getting through the day feels overwhelming. There is a numbness in my thoughts as I go through the motion of getting ready for the day. Hopelessness seeps through every pore of my soul. I check my diary a few times to remind myself of what is on today because I keep forgetting. I try to sit down and read my bible, but the words just glaze through my eyes. I try to pray but I don’t know what to say. There is only an unuttered groan that reverberates in my chest. I sit in my chair and quietly wonder whether the God I was so sure of, is actually there at all. And if he is there, does he even see me, or has he abandoned me altogether?
Emotions that normally drew me to Jesus are now silent. Vacant. I feel my heart cry echoed in Jesus’ own words on the cross as he cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
In my chair, it may seem like I sit in a barren landscape of nothingness but in the spiritual world, I am sitting in the middle of a viciously engaging battleground.
One battle line is drawn along what I will choose to use to shape my belief in who God is.
Do I choose to define God by my feelings of hopelessness? I feel abandoned and lost, so do I conclude God must therefore be a fickle god who comes and goes and turns his face away from me when I most need him?
Or do I choose to allow God to define himself through unchanging scripture? Scripture that says God is someone who will never abandon me and someone who understands my suffering because he himself suffered.
As Jesus was arrested and taken to trial he was abandoned by his family, abandoned by his friends, abandoned by the people he came to save. As he hung on the cross, all my grotesque sin and the sins of people past and future clung to him. The holy Father turned his face away from the putrid stench of our sin. The cry that was wrenched from Jesus’ chest was not because he feltabandoned by God, but because he actually wasabandoned. In that moment, Jesus was abandoned by the Father so that we need never be abandoned. As we are united with Christ through faith, our sins are paid for through his death and we will never be separated from God’s love, never deserted, never forgotten.
As I sit in my chair, I choose to align myself in the battle with the side that fights for the truth that God is alongside me, whether I can feel him or not. I take courage remembering that of all people, Jesus knows my struggle because He’s been there himself.
Even though my emotions continue in their numbness, I choose to turn my heart to the One who already holds me by the hand.
There are many battles fought in the war of depression, and while there may be some common experiences, everyone travels their own road. It’s a road best not travelled on your own. At Jubilee, we have biblical counselors who would be very happy to walk alongside you. If this is your struggle, then please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.