Hope in the Midst of Despair: God is Digging a Tunnel

On Saturday afternoon, I was almost in tears after hearing on NPR that the long awaited breakthrough to the Chilean miners trapped since August has been made.  Their rescue is still some days away, but the hope this breakthrough represents is huge.  There is so much bad news reported in the press that I think all of us need to applaud when news like this makes the front page. Read the story here.

As I reflected on this today I could not help but be reminded of the effort that God has made to burrow into my life and set me free too.  Nor could I help but think about a friend of mine who is currently struggling with deep depression.  Most of us have not been physically trapped in the way these miners are, but we have all experienced emotional and spiritual entrapment which we are not sure we can survive.  And the thought of this tunnel reaching into the prison these miners are in gave me hope.

One mother talked about the fact that she is looking forward to the rebirth of her son.  And it is very much a birth process that they are going through. Even the tunnel through which they will need to emerge is symbolic of birth imagery.  And as they emerge it will be into a world that for them will never be the same again because of their experience.

Part of what struck me is that if our broken human race cares enough to spend so much time and energy rescuing these miners then imagine how much more God cares and is willing to expend time and energy to free us from our prisons.  Sometimes in the midst of depression, pain and suffering we feel our lives are hanging by a thread.  But God is digging a tunnel through which we can be reborn, brought to the surface and set free.  And all around God are a cloud of witnesses, just like the relatives of these miners, waiting, hoping, praying, not willing to give up.   Even though we can’t always see them in the darkness of our prisons, they continue encouraging us with their prayers and messages, assisting God’s rescue efforts wherever possible.

Thank God for glimpses of hope in the midst of despair. Thank God for the imminent rescue of these miners.  And more than anything thank God for the wonder of God’s love and care.

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  • Rob

    Time and the level of pain are major factors in depression. I have had 10 years now, of downward depression. Part of my learning is the very hard aspect of gaining knowledge of God in ways you cannot (apparently) attain through ‘good times’ where little or no circumstantial pressure appears.

    Through my trials I have lost my physical health, mental health, career, my family, the bulk of my savings, my house I owned for 13 years, and no joke, even my dog. I have no relationship with my son right now.

    No words describe the hell, the utter confusion and despair of knowing God is good in every way, and yet He allows the most horrible things to happen to his own born-again family members. I began calling years ago to Him, and while He clearly answered my prayers by making Himself known (through people, the radio, sermons, the Bible, and arranging such circumstances clearly), He did not improve my character, my job, etc., and things actually got worse. Obviously I went through mental anguish that got worse and worse. I slowly developed depression, something I had never had before, at least never to such a depth.

    The true and simplistic understanding is that this Earth is not home, it is a temporary living space, and Heaven is where all our dreams will actually come true, with perfection in every emotional, physical, and spiritual way. It is also true this is not eternal Hell, and thank God for His awsome grace and mercy by saving my soul.

    I think about Hell and comprehend eternity to the depth I can as a human, and it utterly terrifies me. Imagine only one night in great heat and darkness and lonliness, ONE night. We cannot bear even the thought of that. I am thankful as much as possible, to put this life’s suffering into perspective as being ‘nothing’ compared to Heaven and eternity with God.

    God has kept me alive, though I eventually tried to kill myself. He has kept me alive with food, clothing, and shelter until now. I firmly believe the two primary goals, to conform us into Jesus’ image (to make us live and behave more like God), and to bring us into a deeper, deeper relationship with Him. For me, this involves great struggle for some reason, fighting every step of the way to learn the lessons, break thru my human limitations.

    I am doing all I can to focus on Him and learn what He wants me to learn, to somehow keep hope no matter the circumstances. I now pray only for grace and mercy. I do not try to perform for God, to earn His favor.

    I balance my prayers by asking for His will to be done in my life, whatever that may be, yet I also ask for His grace and mercy, unmerited favor to restore me to work, to some semblence of a normal life and a measure of security (i.e. keeping a job, having medical and dental benefits, having my own home). Yes, with all my heart I confess God is my ‘job’, my ‘money’, my security, yet I know He provides HIS nature through this Earth, through money, etc.

    We all have our OWN unique race, though our humanity is similar in many respects. I pray God grant every suffering Christian the grace and mercy to somehow endure, to keep living, no matter the circumstances.

    Charles Stanley said it well about suicide. Jesus died for ALL your sins, you cannot earn eternal life, nor UNearn it, because it is not based on your performance good or bad. Eternal life is a gift, bought and paid for by Jesus Himself, by His innocent blood given in exchange for our crime of sin (through Adam and Eve).

    So while I am convinced God forgives such an insane act, He must judge our rewards in some way, but I do not know. I agree fully that ALL that is GOOD comes from God. “God is love”… how much MORE can God reveal his nature to us?

    IF you kill yourself, you “short circuit” God’s plan for your life, whatever that may entail. You / I have taken the one last step of control, the only one you had, that is, removing yourself from this Earth.

    Though I am fully convinced of my soul’s salvation and my relationship with the Lord, and though I tried to hang myself, gas myself, and bag myself over my head, I could not go through with it. I was just too afraid and it was HARD to do. I really don’t know how other actually manage to complete the act.

    Regardless, I hear once, when God is finished with you here, He will take you home. You will die because your time here is completed. Until then, God has meaning and purpose for your life, regardless of your circumstances. I sit around all day unemployed, and cannot stand it, I mean it drives me nuts. Some days I do well, looking for work, going for a walk, etc. Other days I lay in bed in utter despair of life.

    Lately I have been listening to praise music, praying slowly and very sincerely, focusing my speech and mind on God, on His character, on His words and promises, again striving in prayer for balance… balance in what I want, which is escape and deliverence from unemployment and fear and uncertainty, and God’s will, that I learn to depend even MORE upon Him, or that I keep clinging to Him. His word to me is just that at this time, hang on, endure, no matter how confused you feel, how uncertain, etc. I got this message VERY, VERY clearly, because the same message came from three or four different directions within two days.

    Sorry about all the writing… please consider this your Monday thru Friday devotion, take the weekend off!


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