If you’re like me, most times when you’ve seen a sign that says: ‘Dead End’ you probably have not ventured down the road ahead. There have been a few times, however, when I had to get to a specific destination and knew of no other route, I went forward anyway. I hoped that perhaps there would be some way around whatever obstruction laid ahead, especially if it also said:
Most of the time, however, I wouldn’t take the risk in going forward.
After my son died, I have given up many many times. I would reach a point when I truly believed that there was no sense going forward, that my life here had ended and I might as well simply lay down and die.; I have prayed to die. I became convinced that there was no reason to continue on; I had no more purpose left to exist. It is a point of despair.
Depression and despair, though not mutually exclusive, do differ. Depression will result in a loss of desire to even get out of bed in the morning; it will rob from you most of your desire to speak with others which causes you to isolate and adds to your depression. Despair, however, goes beyond depression. Whereas depression is more of a ‘feeling’, despair is a complete loss of Hope and any expectation; despair is a state of utter hopelessness and complete despondency. It is the belief that we cannot…will not…survive this. It can cause one to be suicidal. It’s the belief…more than a feeling…that there is absolutely no reason to go on. It is a Dead End road with no access, no way around it, no detours available, no turn around. It’s the belief that you are confronted with an insurmountable mountain with no passageway available.
Have you ever thought of the amazing feats and the insuperable circumstances those original Pilgrims faced who ventured to travel out West in their covered wagons filled with everything they owned? They had to have felt completely overwhelmed, at times. There was no ‘free sailing’ when confronted with navigating across the rough terrains and faced with crossing the Rocky Mountains. Passage over the desert land with little to no vegetation and the relentless heat must have seemed unbearable, as if they were in the pit of Hell itself. Many, most likely, gave up and turned back. The task at hand was too merciless and unyielding.
Yet, some kept moving forward.
How is it that some became completely despondent, while others vigorously ventured on? What was the almost magical ‘key’? Many must have felt depression and discouragement. Some completely despaired. Those Pilgrims were human, not some omnipotent super-human beings. The original explorers and fur traders were driven by something that others likely viewed as insanity. They must have had moments of discouragement, yet they would not quit. Even Paul when faced with numerous beatings and imprisonment, hardships that most today in America cannot even comprehend, had occasion to completely despair (1 Cor. 1:8). He said that he and his fellow sojourners ‘had the sentence of death’ within them (vs. 9).
All of these people that kept moving forward had Faith; they trusted; they had Hope in something grander and bigger than themselves. It’s not that they were indifferent to depression nor despair; they had something greater than those feelings and state of mind. Someone once stated to me years ago that: ‘a winner never quits’. In spite of what obstacles and tragedies present themselves along our journey, we who are ‘winners’…conquerors…DO NOT GIVE UP! If we run into a brick wall, we find a way around it. If we cross a passageway that is a dead end road, we look for another. We don’t sit down and throw up our hands and say: “Well, that’s it then”. As the old saying goes: ‘It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings’. We do not presume the outcome while our life is still in progress. We don’t allow our emotions to rule the day because we know that ‘feelings are not always facts’. We have Faith in something greater than ourselves and all tragedies. We Trust there is Someone out there greater than it all. Most importantly, we have Hope that this is all only temporary.
Romans 8:36-37 (NKJV)
36 As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
(((HUGS))) Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at: Xulon Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and DeeperShopping. Additional international retailers: http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/biography/gifts-from-the-ashes,jude-gibbs-9781498496728 http://www.upliftvstore.com/product.asp?sku=9781498496728 Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/
Also, see a more complete list at: http://www.directtextbook.com/isbn/9781498496728?geis=y Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))