Dear Pilgrim Pals:
The following article was posted over at Pilgrim Scribblings yesterday and I thought I'd post it here on "Pals" as well. When we wonder if anyone will ever understand...God does. I'm reminded of a wonderful song entitled, No One Understands Like Jesus." He truly knows our struggles and cares deeply for us. Hallelujah.
Do you ever struggle with feelings that you can't quite find words to describe? And, if you could, you wouldn't be gutsy enough to share them with others because they just wouldn't understand? I've certainly been there...as recently as today.
Sometimes we wonder if anyone else on the face of the earth could comprehend the complexities of our battles. Then, out of the blue, we discover that someone has actually written about the exact thing we're dealing with. Keeping those thoughts to ourselves for fear of being misrepresented or misunderstood can lead to dangerous introspection but at times we just can't get them out there.
A book I refer to time and time again is Bright Days, Dark Nights by Elizabeth Skoglund. I've mentioned it here in Pilgrim Scribblings several times. She skillfully uses the writings of the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, attempting to bring light to the dark subjects of depression, anxiety and loneliness among other things.
Skoglund quotes J. B. Phillips whose book Your God Is Too Small is a classic. Phillips uttered these words of confession, "The hardest thing of all to bear is what I can only describe as a nameless mental pain, which is, as far as I know, beyond the reach of any drug, and which I have tried in vain to describe to anyone."
He continues, "It would have been of inestimable comfort and encouragement to me in some of my darkest hours if I could have come across even one book written by someone who had experienced and survived the hellish torments of mind which can be produced. And, alas, I know very, very few clergy or ministers who would even know what the sufferer was talking about."
So we carry on, alone to a degree, but we know that God DOES understand the pain we bear. And so, again, we are forced (why does it have to come to that?) to cast our burden on the Lord knowing that He will sustain us and bring us out of that dark, hideous place. Rejoice that we know One who was there. He was the Man of Sorrows and he's very much acquainted with grief.