Monday, October 18, 2010

The Constant Battle

As I take my pen to write
of all the struggles
that go on inside.
I feel so distant from you Lord,
like I've gone astray.
So different when I used to walk
with you from day to day.
These eyes that were once opened
and a heart that was so warm,
have now hazed over and my
heart has turned and embraced
in the cold.
Where are you in this hour? Do you
still care?
Please hear me pray and let me know
your love that is so fair.
What is this familiar emptiness
that's making me so cold?
I miss the newness of life
from when you first touched my soul.
It's like I'm losing my grip,
please uphold me with your grace.
I beg you Lord, turn not
from me your Holy face.
I'm counting on the love you gave
back there on Calvary.
Bring back the joy of my salvation
that was so freely given to me.
Remove all distractions that
get in my way.
Let your only begotten Son
light my darkened days.
I can no longer hide
as the lines in my face deepen.
I invite you Lord to come.
This cry I can not keep in.
Fill me up with your gladness
and all that makes me sing.
Resurrect my salvation,
the one that gave death its sting.

This was written about 10 years ago and reflects my deepest thorn in my flesh. The fact that I have suffered with what people call "major depression" for over 25 years still feels the same today as it did when I first started experiencing it.
Living with this kind of depression can take its toll on not just myself, but those around me. Someone just asked me tonight, noticing a different disposition in my features;"Is it just like being sad?", he asked. The answer is,no not really. The best way I can describe it is that it is like being in a thick black tar, inside of a dark lonesome closet with no accessible light at all.
With that said and understood, I wonder why I have never been able to over come this darkness. I ask and I plead with my most merciful Savior to please take away this darkness. This depression has never helped me, or my wife, but only adds difficulty that we all could do without.
I wonder what good this is to have such a case of melancholy that sometimes has lasted not just for a day or two, but in some cases, years. It has almost destroyed me and has had awful effects upon my loved ones.
There is such a sense of hopelessness in that hole, that it feels that I will never be able to get out or escape from its depth.
Yes, it's true that Jesus said that he would always be with me, even in the valley of the shadow of death. Honestly though I would rather not go through this anymore seeing there is no benefit to any of this. It is downright debilitating and makes me absolutely lethargic.
I plead with G-d over and over to please take this far away form me and I still get no answers. I guess I know now how the apostle Paul felt when he wrote the words in 2 Cor. 12:7-9. Paul wrote of his trials and how so often he was persecuted by evil doers and even people of the church. He recognized that it was to keep him from being conceited and thus a thorn was given in his flesh.
Paul pleaded three times to have G-d remove it from him and the answer three times over was a resounding;"NO!". G-d said to Paul that His grace was sufficient for him and that His power would be made perfect in Paul's weakness.
I can say that externally I get it, but that was Paul and not me. How can G-d get any glory out of my weakness that has never had any good outcome of showing, giving or providing any comfort to anyone or praise to His holiness?
I guess at this point I am called to get out from within myself and boast in the power of G-d through Christ Jesus. Somehow G-d will give me the strength to be content in my weakness, and somehow be strong in His Power.
Maybe it is in the thorn of my affliction that causes me not to fall back on my lack of greatness, but into the perfect strength of Jesus.
Maybe I can play the optimist here for just a moment, and give G-d the benefit of the doubt. Maybe my weakness helps me to weep a few more tears for those who are weeping now. Maybe I wouldn't be so full of sympathy for others that are hurting or in despair if I hadn't been there so often myself. Maybe I wouldn't feel so much for the lonely if I didn't experience it so often myself.
It just might be that G-d is calling me right now to get some rest, to come back and fall into the arms that have so often carried me. It just may be that I will say with the Psalmist in Ps.43:5" Why are you downcast, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in G-d; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my G-d."
Oh My G-d and Salvation, help me where I have no strength within myself and come to you knowing that you are the stronghold for the oppressed in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O L-rd, have not forsaken those who seek you.(Ps.9:9-10).
May His name be blessed in the darkness and the light, form this time and forever. Amen.


  1. My heart goes out to you. I have never experienced this darkness but your pain is so real. You mean a lot to us and knowing that you're going through this hurts. We're praying for you that in this time that the Son of light would come and warm your heart! You have made a difference in our lives, pointing us to God in so many ways! Thinking of you! --Erin

  2. Noel,

    You made me cry. You have a gift of sharing your heart in words just as the Psalmists. Having had some bouts with deep depression at times in my life, I can understand in some small way.

    Even with the darkness you feel, you really should know how much light you shine to others. Whether you feel it or not, you DO. You deeply touch the life of anyone lucky enough to know you and shine God's light to them by the love and holiness you live out.

    I don't know what God has prepared for you, but I know that you are His and that He will undoubtedly use you, if you are willing, to continue to touch lives and hearts as you have mine.

    Though we only lived near one another for a relatively short time, your friendship and your impact on my life are eternal. For that, I thank the Lord!

    Peace Brother,