Depression has been sucking everything out of me. I'm sure it's partly related to the stress of our financial situation, with some physical issues added. The time change that brings darkness sooner isn't helping any. Then to top it off, when I try to pray, I've got nothing. No words. It's babble or it's stuttering but its mostly just dead space where words should be. All this combined has resulted in a great big dish of frustration, sadness, pain, anxiety,and desperation. I have felt crippled and blinded.
I have felt like a little leaf trembling in the wind.
Like a little leaf balanced precariously on a tight rope.
Then, this morning I read Lori Roeleveld's blog post and it was as if it was written just for me. She talks about the emptiness she was experiencing. How her prayers sounded like "blah, blah, blah." She said it was because while her mouth was uttering words her heart was empty. As she struggled with this realization she heard Jesus say "Bring that to me. Bring me your emptiness"
Wait. What? God told her to bring Him the emptiness? Aren't we suppose to bring Him an offering of praise? Yet.... He said bring it and then He would fill it.
Her post resonated with me. I'm learning that whatever we bring, be it praise, adoration, requests, anger, pain, sorrow... or a great big pile of nothingness, He welcomes it.
Hebrews 4.16 says: Let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
He welcomes it... and then, transforms it. By His Grace, His Love, His Mercy He takes what ever we have, even the nothing to offer, and turns it into something of wonder.
It might not change the condition of my checking account or lessen the physical pain. It doesn't' always remove the depression and sometimes it doesn't even improve my prayers of dry empty phrases. But it comforts me to know that even in the darkest of times, God is with me. He never abandons me. I may never fully know or understand why He can't just rescue me out of my worst times. Sometimes He does, but often He doesn't. However...He does sit with me in my darkness. He does walk with me through the fire. He swims beside me in the deep waters.
Knowing that gives me the courage and strength to hang on for one more day. Knowing this allows me to rest in His presence.
Seeing that little leaf perched there on that wire the other day made me think of the song Hold Me Jesus by the late Rich Mullins. One line in particular jumped out at me so I had to revisit the lyrics. It seems to capture where my parched and weary soul is these days. It goes: "So hold me Jesus, cause I'm shaking like a leaf. You have been King of my Glory, won't you be my Prince of Peace?"
I may be perched precariously and trembling but I know, and I trust, God's got me.