Thursday, August 14, 2014

A More Sufficient Remedy for Despair

 My heart aches that depression worked its evil yet again. That creature, I am all too familiar with and grieve that Mr. Williams gave in to it. It took me a few days to process if and how I would address it on this blog. Necessity to bring light into this area spurred me on because regrettably, I have been there.

 The shadow that creeps in as soon as you are smiling unaware and slides beneath your skin to the marrow, spreads like a noxious gas and consumes you from the inside. The nothingness eats away everything but pain and hurt. Those are left to echo in the shell that was once human. 

 The loneliness rises up even in a room filled with people and the immense chasm that separates you from life is ever widening. You fade into invisible where the nothingness grows. The yearning for a sleep that never ends whispers, enticing you to believe the empty promise of peace that it breathes in your ear. You just want it finished.

  Desperation fuels contemplation of self-prescribed remedies to end the deep awareness of heavy emotions, failing, inadequacy, too many thoughts, and abundance of pain. I got close but never made it all the way there. Even if I had, it would not have brought blissful rest. For although the hopeless feeling and the knowledge of our inability to fix it is correct, we cannot rely on our remedy to end it. We may correctly feel the symptoms but we are not correctly diagnosing the cause, therefore our remedy will lead to something worse. It will not be finished.
 There is a better way to end a wretched, weary, empty life and remove the hopelessness. But, you see, it is a work that takes two deaths. One is a required work to pay our heavy debt (Romans 6:23) and the other does the work of keeping us walking rightly in a new life (Galatians 5:24). Unfortunately, we are capable of only one death and that one is not only insufficient, but it is also condemning. So how can it be finished? 

 Jesus. He already died the first death and in that death, He recovered all the ground we lost as enemies in our rebellion and sin against God, which is the cause for our misery and anguish. We can be restored, no longer lonely, no longer alienated, no longer hopeless. If we call upon the Lord, turn from our sin, and trust in His work alone; He victoriously proclaims that it is finished.

 And that alone would be sufficient but on top of removing the burdensome weight of the wages for our sin, Jesus does even more. He also gives us a new life that grows more joyous with each step. This happens in the work of the second death. Every day we rely on His Spirit to put to death the old flesh. We are not the old vessels of destruction and despair. We have become holy and honorable, beloved children of God with purpose. It is a sweetness that penetrates to the deepest wound. You will find peace, joy, hope, and freedom. Do you want it to be finished? (Romans 10, Acts 4, Ephesians 1, Ephesians 2, Matthew 11)

 But, what if you are a Christian and you struggle with sadness? How about the answer comes in the next post and until then contemplate Christ's sufficient work for our despair.

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