Healing, Loneliness, Pain, Prayer, Words of Endurance

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;
no one can snatch them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all;
no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
JOHN 10:27-29 (NIV)

When I was going through my depression, many of my senses and emotions went numb. One of my first senses to go numb was my sense of spirituality – my sense of the presence of God. I could not “feel” God. It felt like there was a cement ceiling between God and me and my prayers would bounce off that cement ceiling every time I tried to pray.

I felt as though God was nowhere to be found. But it was good to know once again that I was not alone in my feelings – King David experienced the same:

Listen, GOD, I’m calling at the top of my lungs:
“Be good to me! Answer me!”
When my heart whispered, “Seek God,”
my whole being replied,
“I’m seeking him!”
Don’t hide from me now!
PSALM 27:7-9 (The Message)

As did the Prophet Jeremiah:

And though I cry and shout,
he has shut out my prayers.

As did Job who was blameless and upright:

I shout for help, God, and get nothing, no answer!
I stand to face you in protest, and you give me a blank stare!
JOB 30:20 (The Message)

I was so relieved to have my feelings validated by such great men of God!!!! But even though I felt better about my feelings I still had a serious problem.

The problem? I believed if I could not “feel” God that meant that I had lost my relationship with God. This thought filled me with great fear until I read the top verse, John 10:27-29.

Praise God – Nothing could be further from the Truth! While you or I may lose our “feeling” of God and feel that we have lost God– God the Father and God the Son will never lose us – no one or nothing can snatch us from His hand.

Lost that feeling? Lost God? Then take comfort in knowing that God’s presence and God’s love is not dependent upon our feelings! Be encouraged and know that no matter what your state of mind is, there is nothing that can separate you or me from the love of God.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers, neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
ROMANS 8:38,39

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky


Depression, Grief, Healing, Words of Endurance

“My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long?”

Before I went through my own valley of suffering and depression, whenever I would read the Psalms I would wonder why God put all of King David’s “whining” in the Scriptures for everyone to see. I felt it was such a display of weakness and a poor display of faith.

But after I went through my own depression I can’t tell you how thankful I was that God recorded King David’s “whining” in His Word because I now could so identify with his suffering –I cried out those same cries – I felt those Psalms were recorded just for me.

It brought me great comfort in my pain to know that I was not the only one who ever experienced depression in the valley of suffering. King David was “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22) – Israel’s most illustrious king – a giant killer from his youth – and yet also here was a man given to depression in the midst of his suffering.

If you have ever been depressed, you know the symptoms: faintness of heart, endless days, sleepless nights, tears, obsessive fear, numbness, weakness, loss of energy, loss of joy, weight loss or gain – just to list a few. As I read the Psalms I realized that King David experienced many of the same symptoms of depression.

His laments and the laments of others before God are recorded in Scripture – notice the similar symptoms:

My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes.
PSALM 38: 10

My heart is blighted and withered like grass; I forget to eat my food.
Because of my loud groaning I am reduced to skin and bones.
I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake; I have become like a bird alone on a roof.
PSALM 102:4-7

I am worn out from groaning;
all night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.

My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me.
Fear and trembling have beset me: horror has overwhelmed me.
PSALM 55:2,4,5

But just as I lamented about my depression before God the same laments as King David, I am thankful that I could also join in chorus and sing out the same praises with King David when he sang …

I waited patiently for the LORD to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
PSALM 40:1-3 (NLT)

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky