The Pit Of Despair

Isaiah 61:1b,3b He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. (NIV)

Have you ever been in the pit of despair, having lost your way in the fog of self-pity and remorse? The other day, I listened to a friend recall how she felt when lost in the fog of despair and anger. It centered on her son's wedding. I will let her tell you what happened.

As I think back to the situation when my life took a downward spin into rage and hate, the problem facing us was our oldest son getting married to a girl 17 years his junior. I recall what led up to the wedding, which my husband and I were not going to attend because of things said and done. The choice of a girl wasn't something I agreed with, and we didn't talk for some time. It was the Christmas before the January wedding when a meeting was set up at our other son's home, and all the cards were put on the table, and we reluctantly agreed to attend with reservations. On the wedding day, we were told by one of the attendants that our son's wife had said that the new bride would be feeling better if the parents of her husband-to-be were not at the wedding. Sigh! We did attend though, hiding my feelings.

Nothing was going right, and I couldn't control the situation, no matter how hard I tried. I couldn't sleep, and I had continued headaches. My thoughts of the situation overwhelmed me. I felt weak and helpless. My life was going down the wrong thought trail. I was struggling like a fish swimming upstream. I finally fell down on my knees and cried out to God, "I give this situation to You, Lord. Please forgive me for trying to control things I have no control over." Then I prayed:

God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

As I said the Serenity Prayer over and over daily, I totally surrendered to God to let Him handle it in His time. As time has gone by, I finally have that sense of peace back. God's Spirit is definitely at work in my life, and I leave the rest up to God to oversee my son's life and his relationship with his wife. My burden of being bewildered has passed as I let go and let God do His work.

Hearing of my friend's life-giving struggle, I thanked God for His peace which was obviously with my friend now, having brought her through a very painful time. Yes, God does send us His peace, as Isaiah said in today's verses. "He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."

We struggle through life with many challenges facing us, and we hit that wall and wonder whether we can get over it or through it. Yes, we can, through God and His Son, our Saviour and Redeemer. He is our Rock through life. Praise to our Lord!

Prayer: Dear Lord, we believe in You, but we can lose our way in the fog of self-contemplation and self-will. We should have called out to You, and when we finally did, You were there in the fog with a bright light. Please forgive us, for You alone are the only One who can truly lead life here on earth, as we walk on with faith and trust. You were always there for us. Thank You, dear Lord, for picking us up when we were down. All praise and glory be to You. Amen.

Iris Ford

Parksville, British Columbia, Canada

Thanks to PresbyCan Daily Devotional

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