Lord, if it is Your will, let this work encourage the saints. If nothing I say is to bear any fruit, let Your Word alone shine through.
… so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;Isaiah 55:11
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
For much too long, I have tried to control my life. Then, late one night, I tried to end it.
What drove me down this path of destruction? How did I end up on the street, my mind blank and my heart numb?
Yet God has restored me onto the path of righteousness, through the counsel of others, through Scripture, through worship, and ultimately through His Son.
This is how God humbled me. This is how God delivered me from the Pit.
The Fear of Losing Control
Day in and day out, I devise my plan. I say to myself, I feel this way, and so I must act. If I do not, I will surely lose the things I treasure most: the attention, acceptance, and approval of man.
I make one last attempt to keep my treasure, but this time my energy is spent. My mind is cloudy, my eyes are glazed over. I get up and begin to run.
I hear voices but cannot make them out. I see headlights but cannot move.
Unharmed, I sit on the side of the road. I am a shell – so empty yet so contaminated with sin. Unable to start over, yet unable to go to Heaven…
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.Proverbs 14:12
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.Luke 9:24
The Fear of Abandonment
I wake up in a start to my alarm at 7:30am. My heart is pounding. I had just woken up from a nightmare – no, several nightmares. What were they? Several faces, angry faces…
For a split second, I am calm again, remembering that I am safe in my bed. Then everything rushes back to me.
Last night – last night. I was lost last night. I had hoped to be found in the morning, I had hoped that the memory of the dark sky and wandering people would disappear into the air by morning.
Surely I have pushed God away for the last time.
But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.”Isaiah 43:1-4
The Gospel I proclaim – does it not apply to me as well? Even now, in the deepest of sorrows over my sin, I have peace with God. Did not Christ see this very moment as he suffered on the cross? And did not Christ say of this very sin which I deserve Hell for, “It is finished”?
He has redeemed me, He has called me by name, I am His. I am precious in His eyes, and honored, and He loves me.
The Fear of Sleep
I am home, yet I have no home. I lay on my childhood bed, eyes wide open. I do not know what lays on the other side… My conscience accuses me in the day, my subconscious accuses me in the night. One thought comes to mind before I drift into darkness: Who follows me into my sleep?
If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.Proverbs 3:24-26
Sun of my soul, Thou Savior dear,
There is not night if Thou be near.
O, may no earthborne cloud arise,
To hide Thee from Thy servant’s eyes.
Abide with me from morn’ till eve,John Keble (1792–1866)
For without Thee I cannot live.
Abide with me when night is nigh,
For without Thee I dare not die.
The Lord guards me in the world where I cannot fight. He sustains me as I sleep. If I wake, it is because the Lord has deemed it good for me to live another day. And if I die, it is because he has deemed it good for my battle with sin to be over.
The Love of Myself
I confess everything. I am laid bare before my dear friend. I cannot look her in the eye. Yet her heart breaks for me. She looks at me with compassion. “Pride is at the heart of this,” she says. “You only try to end your life if you believe you have the right to do so.”
She is right. And what a sweet relief that she is! I needed to be brought low in order that I might see how I have failed my Savior, in order that I might cling to him once again.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.Philippians 2:5-8
Christ was humbled to the point of death. He placed his life in the hands of the Father in order to reconcile me to Him. Yet how did I respond? I tried to wrestle my life out of His hands. It was not humility that led me to death, but death that led me to humility.
I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.Isaiah 44:6
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.Job 42:5-6
Have mercy on me, God. Let me not forget the day You delivered me from the Pit.