Jesus Is With You In The Dark
It was roughly 10 years ago that I had a profound spiritual encounter that by God’s grace stilled the Voice of the eating disorder and lifted the depression that had been a part of my life for nearly forty years. After that experience my thinking changed because I had changed. No, I had more than changed because in that extraordinary moment when the Holy Spirit fell on me I wasn’t only healed, I was transformed. That moment of unspeakable grace was my resurrection – a resurrection of not only my mind, body, and spirit, but my life. The Lord had blessed me with a miracle, and now He was sending me on a mission to help others in their suffering.
Because of the many long years I lived with depression and anorexia nervosa I understand a lot about suffering. I understand what it feels like to want to end your own life because you can’t stand the pain that just breathing causes. You don’t want to die. You just want the pain to end. I understand how the depression can be so deep that it feels as if a physical weight is pulling you under water – you literally can’t breathe. Yes, I understand emotional and mental anguish in ways only someone who has experienced them could. I understand what it’s like to suffer physical pain because eating disorders wreak havoc with your body as well. But I’m not writing this post to elicit sympathy. I’m writing this post to instill hope to those of you suffering today. That hope begins with me telling you that you are not alone in your pain and suffering no matter what you might think. Jesus is with you in the dark.
It is easy to lose our focus on Jesus when our pain is so intense, when He seems so silent and our prayers seem to go unanswered. It is easy because in that dark pit of suffering we are lost to so many dark spirits: the spirit of discouragement, the spirit of hopelessness and the spirit of despair to name just a few. But it is my experience that these moments of great darkness in our lives are the very moments when Jesus draws nearer still. The Lord knows in our pain and weakness the spirit of doubt rears it’s ugly head tempting us with thoughts like, “Where’s your God now?” We must rebuke that spirit by affirming, “My Jesus is with me right here and right now in the dark!”
Why does a loving God allow such suffering in our lives? I don’t presume to know the mind of God, but I am pretty confident all the suffering in this life has everything to do with original sin. Yes, in this life we suffer. But it doesn’t need to be without purpose or meaning. Our loving Heavenly Father can use our suffering to mold us into a more perfect image of Himself. Simply put, He can use our suffering for our good, and even the good of others.
I can say now looking back on my own life that the long years I spent lost to the eating disorder built my strength, courage and perseverance, as well as my faith and trust in God. But most importantly, I think God permitted such suffering in my life because in my desperation, I learned to cling only to Him … to depend only on Him and His grace. It was that grace that in turn led me deeper and deeper into relationship with Him in prayer. As my prayer life grew, so did the intimacy of my relationship with Him, and I fell more in love with Jesus than words can express. But He wasn’t through just yet! By God’s grace a miracle unfolded – a miracle that not only lifted me out of the dark pit of depression, but silenced the voice of an eating disorder. I didn’t always think so, but now I know with certainty – my Jesus was always with me. He was with me through it all. Jesus was with me in dark. I no longer feel those pangs of self-pity. In fact, I feel blessed by the path I’ve walked. In so many ways there have been blessings that I likely would not have received had it not been for the illness and the suffering.
So whatever your suffering might be in this moment, I’ve come with a message of hope. From someone that’s been there let me encourage you to never, ever give up or give in to the pain, the illness, the suffering. When you hit rock bottom and that spirit of doubt creeps into your thoughts to torment you and test your belief with, ”Where is your God now?” stand strong. Rebuke that spirit in Jesus’ name and affirm, “My Jesus is with me right here, and right now in the dark.”
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, Come quickly to my side. Make haste to help me. Embrace me in Your Everlasting Arms. Envelope me in Your divine love. Illumine my path with Your divine light. May Your will be done in me. Jesus, I place all my trust in You. Thank you for being with me in the dark.
In the Name of Jesus … Amen
In Christ’s Love, Belinda1