VOICE OF HOPE

Oceans of sorrow swell inside of me.  Waves of pain crash into a sea of tears.  My soul is aching from these gaping wounds;  Quaking, I'm fleeing condemning fears.

It hurts.  To move, to breathe, to be.  It hurts to hope and strive.  It hurts to think.  It hurts to feel.  It hurts to be alive.   

I read and pray and try to obey.  I dare to share but I hear them say...

"You're depressed?  Well, you must rejoice.  Don't you know you have a choice?  It says right here, 'Rejoice always.'  Do not fear.  Don't be anxious.  Just draw near.  Pray, petition, and present your requests.  Overflow with thankfulness.  The peace of God will guard your mind.  If you seek, then you will find."

What if I am seeking, but I still feel lost?  What if I'm praying, but I'm still confused? 

Is it really because of what I do?  Or do not do?

"Have you fasted while you prayed?  Did you share your faith today?  What are you choosing to think about?  Are you entertaining doubt?  True, noble, right, pure...think on these things and you'll be cured.  'Do not let your heart be troubled.'  Jesus said that himself!  Just set your mind on things above.  Repent, choose faith, believe in God's love.  Then you won't be so down.  God has given you a mind that's sound."

But, MY mind IS disturbed...and what does that mean?  My heart IS troubled by all these things unseen.  I'm trying and crying out to believe.  I know up here, in my head, that God is love, but I just can't connect.

Like an adopted orphan, still defined by neglect, I have this loving Father, looking down on me, who's pouring out love I can't seem to receive. 

WHY?!?!  Why can't I feel close to the LORD?

"Just ignore your feelings.  What do they mean?  Live by faith. 

"Besides, if you feel far from God, who moved?  I mean, when I found him, my life improved.  I just wish you could be more like me.  Stop believing lies and you'll be set free.  Do you want to get well?  Do you really believe?  Then get rid of those pills and get on your knees.  Jesus healed everyone of every disease.  But without faith, God is impossible to please.

"Forget what's behind.  Strain towards what's ahead.  You have the power of Christ raised from the dead.  What do you mean you can't get out of bed?  Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart.  God doesn’t give a spirit of fear.  You need to start putting on his armor. 

"You think too much.  You feel too much.  Take captive your thoughts.  You eat too much.  You cry too much.  Stop indulging in sloth.  With many words, there is sin.  Feel confused?  There is sin.  Lacking faith?  Turmoil within?  You're double minded.

"Sin, sin, sin!"

Like all of Job's friends, they're crowding in.  Quoting the verses, slinging them around, and knocking the wounded to the ground.

I am bleeding, seeping, and pouring out.  I'm suffocating in my doubt.  Aching, longing, breaking apart, I'm confused and desperate to know the Father's heart. 

LORD,  I am reaching, longing, trusting You.  I am straining, searching for Your truth.  Going in the strength I have, with each breath feeling like my last...I'm tired and I'm weary.  I long to sit and rest.  I long for peace and comfort--to be held to Your chest.  Just to be held and hear Your heart; my deepest longing from the start.  

I am hoping against hope that You hear me.

I am believing against fear that You want me; even when I'm sad, scared, angry--a mess.  I don't know what to do, but my eyes ARE on You.  I know You're able to heal me.  I know You CAN ease my pain.  But, even if You don't...

Strengthen me, LORD, to serve You well and be a voice of hope.