Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Pain of God's Hiddenness

O’ Lord my pain is deep and wide
Emptiness has settled inside
‘'Where is your God?’ my soul cries
Where is He? as your spirit dies!

Discouragement has entered and made its home
Causing me to feel alone
Its shadow of lies has extinguished my light
Why are You hidden from My sight?

O’ my soul arise from this slumber
The enemy seeks to put thee asunder
Sever the enemy’s deadly rope
By anchoring yourself in the eternal Hope.

"For He promises a little while I will struggle
Yet I will deliver you from all troubles"
God’s promises are faithful and true
Awaken my soul and be renewed………….

For several days I have battled what I come to understand now as “spiritual depression”.  I could not comprehend what was happening within me.  The overwhelming feeling of despair and hopelessness darkened my soul.  I felt isolated, withdrawn and desperate as I was experiencing the pain of God’s hiddenness. 

Where are You, Lord”? I cried, and cried.  “I need You!” The tears saturated my pillow night after night to no avail.  All that followed was a deep silence.

During a soul cry one evening, I penned the poem above only to be reminded of a psalm from one of the sons of Korah.  As I read Psalm 42 my spirit identified with every word. 

Why did I feel so downcast? When did it start to surface? What caused me to cave in? Where did I go wrong? And HOW do I overcome this? 

As I reflected on the “why”, I’ve come to the revelation that “discouragement” has been the factor.  There were many reasons behind my spirit falling that I had suppressed.  Besides the obvious outer struggles of dealing with the absence of my husband, maintaining the household, caring for our son and dealing with family issues – there was an inner struggle that was outweighing the outer.  

My private battles stemmed from disappointments within myself and others. I’ve come to the realization that my heart was stained because of it. Jealousy, pride, envy, passivity, fear, bitterness, and resentments covered the light within and overshadowed it with darkness.  Accusations and condemnation followed.

I focused more on the voice of confusion and the emotions that followed rather than God and allowed the intruder access. As I opened my mouth with complaints I invited the enemy to my pity party.  He took my words and put them to action to kill my spirit, steal the joy of my salvation and destroy my hope. 

I’ve come to realize that I was not as strong as I thought or had other believed. The heaviness crushed me under its weight.  I felt anxious, lonely, angry, and hopeless.  “Where is my God? Why would He allow me to experience such emptiness?’    

While I felt abandoned by God, He was at work in His silence.  He led me to search out spiritual depression and I came across this sermon "The Pain of God's Hiddennes" based on Psalm 42! Was it a coincidence that I had read that Psalm along with Psalm 43 the other night? Absolutely not!  As I sat and heard this man speak, everything that I was going through he spoke about!   I learned that spiritual depression is caused by many factors and that they are others, including himself that have gone through this.  It brought me comfort in knowing that I was not alone.  I came to the understanding of where I went wrong and how I can overcome this.  

The main trouble in this whole matter of spiritual depression is a sense is that we allow our self to talk to us instead of talking to our self. (D.M. Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure)

It taught and encouraged me to speak to my soul:  “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” ~ Ps. 42:11

Through God’s Hiddenness, I was able to see my condition and my need.  His silence was a means to my deliverance although I didn’t understand.  He knew what it would take for me to awaken from the slumber I fell into.  

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.    For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” ~ Is. 55:8-9

Many of us have journeyed through this experience alone for fear of what others may say or think about us and our faith.  Some of us hide for the simple reason of being prideful.  I, myself had a combination of both.  Therefore by posting this I break both strongholds that have caused me to battle alone; fear of man and a prideful spirit.

I invite you to listen to the sermon (click on link "The Pain of God's Hiddenness highlighted above) and be encouraged!  Speak to your soul "Hope in God, for yet I will praise Him again"!