One of my biggest pet peeves with pastors, ministers, church leaders, christians, and actually just people in general is when people trying to pass themselves off as someone who never struggles with sin and temptation, or that they never have problems with their lives, every time you look their life seems perfect. When you know on some level everyone struggles in life, because thats just the nature of it all. Not everything that happens is good, and not everything good that happens makes the bad things better. We mess up, we fall down, we get hurt, we battle, and we try to keep going with every new day that comes. Here’s a little of my story.
Well that’s me too. Last year was a difficult year, and I’ve told people that, but not many people know why. Here is where I will be candid. For most of last year I struggled with depression, most days it was hard to just get out of bed and go to work, it was hard to get the energy up to preach, and a lot of times it was difficult even interacting with people at all, which for me was bad, because I need to interact with people for a living. My battle with depression led me back to old ways that I had long since discarded and sin crept into my life, and even though I did my best to often fight it off, often I had very little energy to do so.
I often had difficulty hearing God’s voice in my life, in fact most times all I got was silence. I often felt lost and confused. To make matters worse, there were some very tense times between some people I really cared about, and I felt very alone in it all. Loneliness is a very heavy curse to bear, because in all that we face, it feels like no one cares and no one is coming to the rescue, ever.
Yet, I survived it all, to my amazement really, I look and back in wonder at how I made it through to this new year. I have prayed, I have thought, and i have tried to pick myself back up, and take another step forward all the while finally understanding what got me through. For all my distant feeling from God and the life I lead that made me feel that way one thing was true, through all of that God had not left my side. He was there through all the tears, he was there through my betrayals, he was there through the pain and hurt, through the loneliness, and brokenness, He was there. All the while reminding of it, and most times I forget, but there are clear memories in the midst of the darkness there was a light of Hope, that whispered to me, “everything is going to be ok.”
I didn’t believe it at the time, but it was true, and I often repeated to myself, “I’ll make it through, somehow, it’ll be ok.” I clung to the Hope that Jesus said He was with me and would never leave me, I clung to the words that, even in the valley of the shadow of death I would make it out as He guided me.
I don’t know what 2015 holds for you or me, but one thing is certain there will be troubles, troubles that you do not want or need, but they will come, but so will the good times. Through it all, we need to remember we aren’t alone, and remember the words of Jesus,
“I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world!” (John 16:33 MSG)