Depression threatens to tear me from Jesus. It pries my fingers one by one from his cross. It hollows out my heart so there is no love left for my neighbor nor for God. I cannot hold on anymore. I am so, so tired of fighting.
Do you feel that way sometimes? You know the darkness cannot smother Jesus, but it can smother you so easily.
Salvation depends on Jesus
You may know this truth already, but let me remind you: Your salvation does not depend on you. It does not depend on your ability to “hang on.” It does not depend on your ability to look like you have it all together. It does not depend on your ability to serve.
It depends on Jesus.
I know it feels like you walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I know it feels like the walls are closing in and the sun has been swallowed in a starless sky. I know that you cannot find your way.
Strength depends on Jesus
Do not fear. Your Shepherd has walked this path before. He walked ahead of you, carrying your burdens. He passed through this valley and died on a cross for you. For you. And after that death, he emerged from this dark valley to sunlit meadows beyond.
And now he walks beside you. He is here in this dark valley with you. And do you hear his promise? “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:39)
Your strength will not save you. Jesus’s strength already has.
You cannot hold on. You do not have the strength. It’s ok. Rest. It doesn’t depend on you.
Encouragement depends on Jesus
With his nail-scarred hands, Jesus has saved you. By your own thinking or choosing you would never come to him. The Spirit himself brought you to life. And if that is how it started, well, that is how it continues. Jesus has you, and your darkness cannot scare him away. In fact, he shines like a light in your darkness. Even if you cannot see him, he is here.
And let me give you one more encouragement. Your heart is weak. It condemns you. But Jesus is greater than your heart. “This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” (I John 3:19-20)
Once again, it doesn’t depend on you or your strength. It depends on Jesus.
You’re in good hands.
Prayer: Lord, I am so weak. I cannot hold on to you. Hold on to me. Keep your promise. When all I see is darkness, be my Light. When all I experience is pain, be my Healing. When all I am is weak, be my Strength. Hold me until I see you face-to-face. Amen.
Source: Luke Italiano, Bread for Beggars blog, July 15, 2019