Lost and Found in the Howling Wasteland

“He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.” – Deuteronomy 32:10 (ESV)

Dealing with anxiety and depression is a challenge to say the least. If you’ve never been there, it can hard to describe, and hard to understand. We are often caught in a Catch 22 where we feel alone and abandoned, the loneliness exacerbated by the feeling of being marginalized by those who don’t understand what we are dealing with.

When I read in Deuteronomy 32:10 about being “in a desert land… a howling waste of the wilderness,” I thought, “Yes. That is it. That is what it feels like!” It is a scary, lonely place. But, friend, if you are feeling the grip of anxiety and drain of depression, I want you to notice something in our verse for tonight: you are not alone.

You are not alone.

God has found you, surrounded you, and is caring for you. You may not feel His presence, but that doesn’t mean He isn’t with you. He is. “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them (your enemies), for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6, ESV).

Wherever you are, whoever you are, grasp that reality. If you are dealing with anxiety and depression, it can be tough to hang on to God’s promises, or to trust in God’s love and care. I went through a period where I was so stifled by my anxiety that I couldn’t pray. I cried. I yelled. I was angry at God for not lifting me quickly from my pain.

But, once I was through it… there He was. I couldn’t see Him in the midst of the storm but, from the clarity that comes only with hindsight, I saw why I went through what I went through. The Lord used that very difficult period in my life to change me, to work through me.

He showed me that I was not alone in a dry, desert place. Rather, He was there all along. He never left me. He never abandoned me.

He hasn’t abandoned you either. And He never will. And if you can’t see it, can’t face that truth, just hang in there. You are not alone. The Almighty God is with you. Always.

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