In the hustle and bustle of ordinary life,
Where we knock about mostly,
Between smiles and strife,
There’s one method, One Hope,
That gets us through,
This Hope is one that’s verily true.
We need Jesus for all our despairs,
We need Him who always cares,
In bondage or brokenness,
We need to know,
God becomes real,
When we enter Him and stow.
If we have faith, surely we can know that to enter God – to stow away with the Divine – is to receive some relief from the oppression of despair. If we despair we possibly have a strain of hope that fails to ebb away. It refuses to die.
Despair is a sign of hope; a belief that things should be better.
“When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something.”
― Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975)
Let us mix two concepts together and see if they homogenise. Will faith spoil despair or will it subsume it? Will despair crush faith or will it rebound resiliently against it?
We can see from the quote above that despair is a sign that we still believe – we have some unction of faith remaining – all is not lost.
Despair is a sign of hope; a belief that things should be better. Despair can be a good thing if we recognise it as a sign that we must hope. But despair can only be an ally if we use it as impetus to generate faith. We do this by stowing away in the heart of God; by crying out to him who has promised to help. It is not God’s designation of help to lift us out of our mournful circumstance. Faith suggests that we have a longer road than we think; we must have patience and sufficient strength to fly the long-haul flight; this despair is no average domestic route.
We don’t underestimate despair, so we therefore rally within ourselves.
Rallying is going into God in the truth of our despair. God needs us to be truthful and to experience the dreadful emotions, but not without feeling him in it with us, empathising, sympathising, and gracing us with his compassion.
We go carefully into despair so as not to traumatise ourselves; we go there with support, mostly, but we can also venture alone, and this is where true intimacy is created.
Despair is a sign of hope; a belief that things should be better. God gives us hope beyond the despair, but only as we enter into his Presence, and experience, for ourselves, his compassion.
Despair is a sign we believe things should be better; it’s a sign of hope. We need to cry, and our tears we think of as, and feel as if they were, his tears. God is so with us in our tears.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.