I’d heard the phrase “God is love” plenty of times, but I never really took it to heart.
After all, “God is love” seemed to contradict the way in which some Christians had treated me and others.
I was never good enough for them, never acted holy enough, and didn’t look the way a supposedly “good Christian” was supposed to look.
I was a misfit.
But I realize now that God specializes in the utilization of misfits.
It was the darkest time of my life, and I was tired of hearing about the love of God from friends and family members.
I didn’t care who God was or what he had done for me. I wanted results—tangible results I could find hope in.
And I blamed God for how I felt.
Why couldn’t he take this pain away?
Why couldn’t he help me?
Why couldn’t he have kept me from experiencing the things that led me down this dark road?
Depression has a way of making you blind to everything true.
It’s a blockade that keeps you from feeling anything other than complete darkness.
It’s something millions of people struggle with, and—sadly—suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in the United States in 2013, and it’s the second leading cause of death for people between the ages of fifteen and thirty-four.[i]
I know not everyone in this world has dealt with depression or anxiety, but I’m 100-percent certain that you’ve felt broken, lonely, and hopeless at one time or another.
Love and acceptance were nowhere to be found. You felt as though you weren’t good enough.
God seemed absent.
Maybe right now you feel “just okay,” and that is actually the best you’ve felt in a very long time.
Your brokenness traps you because of things that happened in your past. Things you wished had never taken place.
Maybe they’re regrets or failures.
Or perhaps you’ve yet to let go and find peace amid the violent storm of your worst memories—the ones you’ve tried to lock up in your closet.
The ones you don’t like people knowing about. You’re hurting. You’re frustrated. You’re in repetitious, unwavering pain.
You ask yourself, Does God even care?
I’ve asked that question. I’ve been in that place far too many times.
The beautiful reality is that God does care about you.
And he cares about me. God loves us.
He feels your pain. He feels my pain.
And while he sometimes responds to us in a way that might not be exactly how we anticipate, it doesn’t mean he hasn’t heard our cries.
He cares—deeply—about our pain and yearning for hope.
I wish I could go back in time and tell myself that.
Oh, the sorrow I could have avoided! But then again, I believe God works everything out for a reason.
I’m reminded of a passage in the Bible that illustrates so beautifully the uncertainty of our hearts:
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! – 1 Corinthians 13:12, msg
Though we sometimes wonder what is happening in our lives, and though we cannot see clearly what lies ahead or know which direction to take, we have this hope: God promises that he will clear the storms and give us direction.
He sees us, and he will bring us out of the haze we find ourselves in…
You must trust God with your brokenness but realize it’s okay to be mad at him, frustrated, and even downright confused.
He can handle it. God doesn’t expect you to understand everything he does…
When you give God the room he deserves, your soul finds supernatural refreshment and peace in his presence.
After all, we were created for the partnership of God.
We were created to do life hand in hand with the one who created us in his image.
God’s love is in the business of rescuing those who feel as though they’re suffocating, though he often acts in ways we don’t expect.
But it’s still love, and we desperately need it.
This is an excerpt from Love is Oxygen: How God Can Give You Life and Change Your World by Jarrid Wilson. Learn more HERE. Originally posted on The Disciple-Maker Blog.
[i] “Suicide: Facts at a Glance,” Centers for Disease Control, 2015, accessed February 24, 2017, https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/suicide-datasheet-a.pdf.