If ever I felt like a bruised reed—like one struggling to stand against the wind, wilted and wounded —it is now. I have wondered if God cares and questioned whether He hears my prayers since He is not answering them like I want. Not only that, but there are many people besides me praying for God to lift the depression that has haunted me since the summer. If He won’t answer my prayers, why won’t He at least answer the cries of others on my behalf? He would receive glory from that, so why doesn’t He do it? I cannot understand, and my lack of understanding has led to doubts I have never felt before.
But the only thing I know to do is bring those doubts to God. What else can I do? Despair is my companion these days, but it cannot be my friend. My hope must be in Him, or there is no hope at all, for He is the author of hope. I have to remember that my feelings aren’t the truth. If I let them rule me, I will come undone completely. I may not be able to pray much beyond, “Help me, Lord,” but all He requires is that I feel my need of Him. With Jesus, all I need is need.
So I do what my pastor reminded me to do and cling to what I know is true about God: that He gave up His Son for me. Jesus was sorrowful unto death (Matthew 26:38) and tormented in ways I cannot fathom, as He bore the full weight of God’s wrath for the sins of His people. This same God deals gently with me and will not break me. He removes my sin as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103). All His paths are steadfast love and faithfulness (Psalm 25). He is not withholding good (Psalm 84), so for reasons I may never know, this depression is for my good. He has given me all that I need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Many days it is hard for me to believe that things can get better, but I remember the Lord’s past faithfulness to help me hope in tomorrow (Psalm 77). I fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith, and I trust that one day He will heal me completely.
Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to thee for dress,
Helpless, look to thee for grace;
Foul, I to the Fountain fly;
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.
from “Rock of Ages”