Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Little Comfort in the Struggle in Times of Despairing

ANTITHESES of sense mean that many times in life we respond the wrong way. Grumpiness in queues are a good ‘for instance’. We all have times when we’re cranky for what seems like a justifiable reason. But, overall, crankiness is a sign of something a little deeper — an unreconciled sadness deeper below our consciousness.
Irritability in life may be a common symptom for depression, but just as much irritability can be a hidden sign for a soul’s cringing despair.
Despair comes in many forms and many forms fit themselves into the myriad situations and seasons of life. But despair always feels the same when we’re honest.
When honesty meets a sorrowful occasion, for courage has already arrived, despair is felt. How sad that life often rewards courage with feelings of inadequacy and despair.
But courage has caused us to acknowledge of our despair so that our despair might compel us to draw on courage all the more.
But courage in the midst of despair seems a bridge too far. In such moments we need the brooding grace of God’s compassion — a word of comfort to steel our resolve for just another foray.
Consolations for Comfort
Ever important it is that we pay tribute to the despair we feel.
What is real is true, and what is true is right, and what is right won’t shift miraculously. We’re given not only the situation but the strength to endure it. Yet such strength brings us face-to-face with juxtaposing weakness. We hate it. Yet it is.
Take a moment to know how pleased God is with you that you’re facing and not denying such a temerity of tumult.
He who did not bring these things to our door knows we can overcome them, even, and especially even, in our weakness. He knows the limits of our strength, of our dam walls for pain; that they’ve been breached. He knows what we can and cannot handle, yet he is ever with us, especially as we surrender our pitiable strength for his because we do not have what it takes to endure the moment.
Take heart. God is as much proud of us when we buckle under the pressures of daily life and encroaching despair as he is when we’ve ascended his holy mountain.
In God’s economy, to struggle and to fail in the struggling is tantamount to success, for we keep trying. To struggle and to fail, and to fail again and again, is to do life by faith.
The real faith is a struggle. And only in the struggle do we grow.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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