Alone in the Struggle?

Only a couple of times in my life have I ever felt so alone that I wanted to give up the fight. I have never felt suicidal, but sometimes I’ve just had enough and I want to be with Jesus, because I know that with Him where He is there will be no more pain or tears or struggle. If you’ve ever felt like that, you know how dark a place it can be. The good news is that in fact we are never really alone, despite how we might feel. Easy to say, huh!? But it is true!

“I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the LORD.”

Psalm 40:1-3

I was recently diagnosed with a chronic condition which with careful and persistent work, can be recovered from. It requires a household effort, affects every facet of ordinary life and is for the long haul. I was reiterating this to my wife (again – I do tend to go on about it), with some specifics I needed help with and she unfortunately, unwittingly responded in a way that made me think she was not getting it (One of the issues associated with this condition is paranoia and over-sensitivity), or perhaps she just didn’t care (it was late and she’d heard it all before, and I can’t even remember what the point was now). I suddenly found myself spiralling in a mist of dark hopelessness, thinking I was completely alone, where my mind took me to places I hope never to revisit. I thought that if I have to do this on my own, I know I won’t recover – a thought I could not handle.

The best way to describe how it felt was that I was clawing my way up the steep slippery side of a dark, muddy pit. There were handholds and perhaps bits of roots to hang on to as I climbed. Ahead you know there is light, although it’s vague, but you know that recovery is that way. Behind me was the bottom of the pit: a muddy, sticky morass of despair that would swallow me up into a bed-bound hell if I let myself go. At that moment I was very close to doing just that…

I imagined what my life would become: the end of ministry work as I knew it; horizontal in my bed being fed and bathed where I lay, not caring less anymore about anyone or anything, putting aside all of my hopes and aspirations, withering away to nothing and disappearing into myself – it looked very dark in there; shudder!

“To You, O LORD, I call;
My rock, do not be deaf to me,
For if You are silent to me,
I will become like those who go down to the pit.
Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You for help,
When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.”

Psalm 30:1-2

Suddenly a switch flicked in my head and I remembered that God was with me and on my side. I remembered that I had an enemy who would want nothing better than to see me slide down into his sticky hell-on-earth and wallow in it. I remembered that I had a calling to fulfil, a race to run and so many things still to do for the sake of the Kingdom and that there was no way my wife meant what she said the way I heard it. And so I called upon the Lord and He answered my prayers and lifted me out of the pit of despair I had almost slipped into. I went to bed still feeling rather numb and petrified at what I had almost allowed myself to do.

In a very real way I had experienced what being utterly alone felt like – if only briefly. But I had also then experienced knowing that it also was never ever true.

The point is that however low we can become, whatever life throws at us, and however alone we may feel: God’s help is only a prayers breath away. He is fighting on our behalf. With His help we can continue to push on through whatever difficulties we may be facing. We must press on for there is more still to do.

“Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.”

Psalm 46:10-11

Life is a Spiritual battle, it’s important that we know our enemy. Read Enemy Tactics for more on this.

When you are Anxious:

When you are Angry:

How I found hope in Jesus…

1 Comment

  1. We are never alone Paul – even though we can feel we are – our Lord is with us always by our side ……or carrying us in our dark times 🙏x

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    Liked by 1 person

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