I was praying the other night, trying to push through the apathy that’s been binding me for quite a while now. I really pressed in and felt the nearness to God as I prayed. I felt confident enough to ask Him what is specifically creating this chasm between us, and He gave me a vision of it. There I was, standing on the edge of a very deep, very wide trench, looking across to Him on the other side.
I said, “God, what is it called? What is it from?”
He said simply, “Your need.”
I began to cry, trying to turn away from it because my need was so deep, so insurmountable and I felt like the helpless architect of my own chaos. I didn’t want to look at it. In truth, I haven’t wanted to look at my need in a while. Because it’s more than I can bear and I am angry. Inconsolably angry at this point.
He said to me, still gently, “No, don’t turn away. Look at it.” So I hid my eyes with my hands and turned back to face my need. Not looking, but not turning away from it again. I sought the comfort of darkness in the palms of my hands to keep me from seeing the chasm created by my need, stretched out as far as I could see and separating me from My Love.
Then I felt his arms encircle me. I pulled my hands down my face, wiping the tears down as they went. God was there, in the chasm, bigger than it’s depth. He was standing in the place carved out by my need and holding me. And finally, I let Him. I needed it. I was in awe of the fact that He didn’t even look twice before jumping into that unknown depth to come and comfort me. And I am aghast at how long I stood there, opposite this loving God, feeling defeated by the depth and distance between us, not asking Him to comfort me.
The many blessings God has poured out on me over the years have been recently overshadowed by the weariness of single motherhood and the deep depression of my son. He’s eleven, and sometimes, he doesn’t want to be here. On earth. I can’t even say it … my son is often “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.”
I guess I’m glad he’s talking about it, but I’m so broken … he’s so broken. And I’ve cried out to God for rescue. I’ve offered up petitions, I’ve written down my own suggestions. I’ve agreed to surrender to His will. But God has been silent.
My great Abba Daddy, whom I run to for rescue time and time again, who has done so many miracles to get me through and provide for us, who I absolutely adore and worship – He hears my cries. He hears my anguish and the anguish of my son and daughter, yet He’s silent.
I’ve cried out, “God, I will give back every blessing ever bestowed on us if you will just bring joy into his heart. Infuse him with happiness. Let him have light inside again.” I cannot see the working of His hands in this. My son is battling physical illness due to his depressive state and struggling through most days.
Finally, I quit crying out to God. I began wavering in my hopes for rescue. I began to doubt His precious promises, even as His word tried to compel me time and again to believe regardless of what I see. I stopped looking at the need or the promise. I let darkness cover my face to keep me from seeing the great need before me.
I’ve cried. I’ve seen God across the chasm, but I’ve not asked for comfort in my need. I’ve not spoken at all. I’ve only looked at Him and muttered the praises of my lips while allowing my heart to be hardened from the accusations inside. “Why aren’t you saving him?!”
In this vision, God did not remove my need. He stood in it. He comforted me in it. And in life, He offers to do the same thing. “When you walk through the waters, I will be with you. When you go through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2). I don’t know when rescue will come. I don’t know when God will deliver us. But I know He has stepped into our need and I know His arms and the strength of His comfort. I know His passion for us. It’s unfailing.