In our darkest moments it’s difficult to shake the feeling of aloneness. God may seem so hidden.
In those worst times several things have helped me devotionally and/or spiritually. One of them is the power of community. I use the strength and prayers of others as my own. I may read (and pray) the lamenting scriptures (like Psalms) when I feel too spiritually dry or weary to pray. I agree with the prayers of others for me and hold those prayers in my heart. When I can’t find the words, or feel the feelings I’d like to I share in the source and inheritance of the community of Believers for strength that is beyond grasp for me alone.
Today, I am listing two resources that are very helpful for this. Maybe you know someone in the middle of a dark, weary, or dry time. Maybe you are there yourself. You may feel quite alone. Strangely, that feeling itself can teach us. Since God’s presence is everywhere, that potent sense of alienation that overtakes our heart can refine in us the faith that does not come through our senses. We can have a “knowing place” even if we feel otherwise numb.
The first resource book is a collection of stories from people who have felt alone in the throes of depression. Together, they harmonize in a chorus of hope, and in the reality of the provision of our Creator. I think you will appreciate their entires.
The second resource is one I’m reading now. I’ll include a few quotes, I’ve read recently, to give you a sense of the power of this book–both for understanding or ministering to those suffering from the pain of mental illness, or for a tether of grace sustaining your hope for a brighter day in recovery from your present darkness.
Forgetfulness deprives our consciousness of great solace…my memories give me hope. p 90
Any coherence in the midst of chaos, any sense in the midst of nonsense, in the work of God. p110
…[W]e really have to admit that all our love and all our hopes are ultimately borrowed for God anyway. p116
Please share your thoughts.
Do you have a song of lament today in your heart? You have permission to share it here.
1 O Lord, why do you stand so far away?
Why do you hide when I am in trouble?
2 The wicked arrogantly hunt down the poor.
Let them be caught in the evil they plan for others.
3 For they brag about their evil desires;
they praise the greedy and curse the Lord.
4 The wicked are too proud to seek God.
They seem to think that God is dead.
5 Yet they succeed in everything they do.
They do not see your punishment awaiting them.
They sneer at all their enemies.
6 They think, “Nothing bad will ever happen to us!
We will be free of trouble forever!”
7 Their mouths are full of cursing, lies, and threats.[a]
Trouble and evil are on the tips of their tongues.
8 They lurk in ambush in the villages,
waiting to murder innocent people.
They are always searching for helpless victims.
9 Like lions crouched in hiding,
they wait to pounce on the helpless.
Like hunters they capture the helpless
and drag them away in nets.
10 Their helpless victims are crushed;
they fall beneath the strength of the wicked.
11 The wicked think, “God isn’t watching us!
He has closed his eyes and won’t even see what we do!”
12 Arise, O Lord!
Punish the wicked, O God!
Do not ignore the helpless!
13 Why do the wicked get away with despising God?
They think, “God will never call us to account.”
14 But you see the trouble and grief they cause.
You take note of it and punish them.
The helpless put their trust in you.
You defend the orphans.