“It breaks you down…time after time…then what can you do?” These words came from an afflicted youth who was overwhelmed by what could not be controlled, fixed, or changed. Reaching for a substance to ease the pressure and pain seemed normal and justified. Oh, if only there was an easy solution we could swallow. Unfortunately, self-medication is the modern deception that only prevents healing.
Anyone of us can become overwhelmed by depression, anxiety, sadness, extreme loss, trauma, racing thoughts, or debilitating memories, especially over a lengthy time when there seems to be no abatement. I think back on this year, and I admit that most days have proved this statement to be true, at least in my life. Like the psalmist, each day I have cried, “Hear my prayer, O Lord, And let my cry come to You. Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my trouble…”
Unlike those who would choose to anesthetize the pain, I have not sought a drug any stronger than Ibuprofen to calm my headache and heartache. I do not want my voice to be quieted before my God. This salvation walk is teaching me that God expects me to call to Him. Psalm 102:19-22 says, “For He looked down from the height of His sanctuary; From heaven the Lord viewed the earth, To hear the groaning of the prisoner, To release those appointed to death, To declare the name of the Lord in Zion, And His praise in Jerusalem.” God looks and listens.
God is not dead; Christ Jesus is Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11) and He intercedes on our behalf. Christ looked down, came down, walked among us, prayed for us, healed us, died for us, and rose again to prove His faithfulness and eternal love. He knew what it felt like to be overwhelmed as a human being, and He determined not to leave us orphans. So in those moments when there is no magical pill or anesthetic to blot out the most hopeless of times, the Holy Spirit of Christ is the testimony that holds us up. Right now. How reassuring to know that we are not alone, and God sends this message every day. Can we see the evidence in those family and friends that call or write or may be silently praying for us? Are we sure that God is good? What about those nuggets of truth that pierce our conscience when we refused to give up?
And can we look with joyful expectation to the Second Coming of Christ who comes in victory (Revelation 19)? If so, like my old pastor was fond of saying, “Can I get an Amen, Alleluia!” Instead of suffering, we will be singing with angels!