One song's lyrics really struck me in particular that night, "Before the Throne of God Above."
"When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there,
Who made an end to all my sin."
Unfortunately for me, I am tempted to despair all too often. It might be the number one way to bring me down. Whether it is depressed thoughts on the way to work in the morning, freak out mode before a large group event, or just a bad case of the doldrums I tend to despair.
I don't know how many of you fall into depression, but if you do, you know that the easiest place to look is never up. Your eyes are trained inward or downward. One sad thought leads to another and you are lying on your bed crying your eyes out before you know it.
My mind is often filled with depression, "I look fat today. I can't work one more day at this job. She must be upset with me. I don't have it in me. I feel sick, I'm just not getting better. I just.... can't."
So that was last week for me. And that song struck me on Friday, struck me in between the eyes.
And then I read from "Keep a Quiet Heart." Elliot wrote about how prayer is a battle, one that Satan desperately doesn't want me to engage in. If I work fine, but pray? That is the last thing he wants.
Where would the evil one like to keep me? In a state of prayerless despair.
This week was different. While work didn't change, I changed and I enjoyed it. I felt rested even when I didn't sleep as much. I spent time with Jesus, and things were clearer. I looked up and there He was, my Love.
It wasn't perfect, but it was joyful.
I guess it takes me more than a few times to learn the same the lesson. Thankfully, He still loves, He is faithful, He is merciful.
"Be persuaded, timid soul, that He has loved you too much to cease loving you." -Archbishop Fenelon