|Posted on 9 January, 2015 at 9:30||comments (0)|
WHEN HEAVEN CAME DOWN
I was so depressed! Virginia had been very sick for eighteen days in the Verviers, Belgium, hospital. When she came home, she was confined for a while to the bed. My sister, who had come to help out, suddenly developed mysterious blisters of some sort on her entire body, including the inside of her mouth. The doctors visited our house nearly every day, but could not determine the cause of the blisters. On top of that there were two small boys to attend to. I began to fall apart at the seams, crying at the least thing, or for no reason. There were few people in the church upon whom we could call. But God remembered us and restored health to Virginia, to my sister, and to me.
What about you? I know that many of you who are reading this know from your own personal experience what my family and I were going through. You have perhaps lost through death the love of your life, a soul mate of many years; perhaps your children have disappointed you in some sad way; you have perhaps contracted a dread disease; or maybe you have lost your job! You wonder how you can possibly get through this! All seems to be darkness around you. Upon whom will you call? Don’t forget about God!
I know that there is a God in heaven who cares for me and you. Peter tells us to “cast all our anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (I Peter 5:7). A wonderful hymn by Ruth Caye Jones urges us to remember Jesus:
“In times like these you need a Savior,
In times like these you need an anchor.
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock.”
Indeed, we do need this “anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19) to hold us to the Solid Rock, to keep us from drifting away during these times of trouble and pain. Without this “hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,” one might conclude that there is no God in heaven, that there is no one who cares.
Sometimes, even Christians can collapse under the heavy weight of depression, so we should be careful not to judge them when they do. I myself can count five people, all members of the church of Christ, all acquaintances of ours, all of them relatively young, who took their lives because they could not bear to live. How tragic! What an utterly tragic waste! I suppose they just saw no other way out.
So as we “run our race” we need to keep our eyes fixed and focused on Him who stands by the “finish line,” waiting for us, and encouraging us to keep running (Hebrews 12:2)! He “endured the cross” for us! He knows our troubles and problems. He is now sitting on the throne of God, looking down upon us, encouraging us not to quit, not to stop, “not to grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3).
Jesus came down from heaven, having divested Himself of all the powers and perks of deity (Philippians 2:6-7), becoming a human being like all of us, suffering the humility of temptations, enduring the pain and trouble that all of us go through from time to time, and for what? In part, it was to be able to serve as an example for us when we are troubled and depressed. Because He “suffered in the flesh,” we also must “arm ourselves with the same purpose” (I Peter 4:1). Jesus “gives help” to those who are troubled (Hebrews 2:16). He is “able to come to the aid of those who are” going through various kinds of trials and troubles (Hebrews 2:18).
As John Peterson’s hymn reads,
“Oh what a wonderful, wonderful day, Day I will never forget;
After I’d wandered in darkness away, Jesus my Savior I met.
Oh what a tender compassionate friend, He met the need of my heart;
Shadows dispelling, with joy I am telling, He made all the darkness depart!
“Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Savior made me whole.”
Indeed, Heaven did come down in the person of Jesus, our Lord. He dispelled the darkness of my personal depression, and He can scatter the shadows that creep into your heart if you will rely upon Him and call upon Him in time of need (Romans 8:26).
In such times, let us use the precious words of David:
“I love You, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
And I am saved from my enemies.”
Donald R. Taylor