In the Palm of His Hand

“Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel,

‘My way is hidden from the Lord,

And the justice due me escapes the notices of my God’?”

~ Isaiah 40:27

One thing I’ve learned in my forty-plus years of life is that you can’t let one bad day get you down. Sometimes I find things going wrong, find everybody around me uncooperative, find myself short-tempered, and realize: I’m having a bad day. With that realization comes relief: no matter how long this day seems, it will eventually end, and tomorrow will likely be better.

Then there are those times when tomorrow isn’t better.

A steady stream of those days eventually sends me into a downward spiral, and at the bottom of it is that monster, depression. I don’t have time for it, I try to fight it off, but the struggle is wearying. I try to close my ears to the inner voices: “You’re not enough.

“You’re not talented enough…not smart enough…not disciplined enough…not kind enough…not strong enough…not productive enough…not good enough.”

In those times, I cry out to God, but truthfully, I don’t feel as reassured as I should. I can’t help wondering if those voices are right, and if maybe everything about me really is wrong. The monster begins to wear me down, and I feel like I’m fighting it alone.

But I know better. I always know better. Because God “does not become weary or tired, [and] his understanding is inscrutable” (Is. 40:28). Over and over, He has given me tangible assurance of His love and care just when I’ve been tempted to feel forgotten.

Earlier this week, after realizing the futility of trying to hold it all together, I called my mom. In the few minutes she had free that morning, she spoke words that showed me I wasn’t a complete failure. We hung up, and, continuing to fight tears, I checked my email. Out of nowhere, a dear, wise older friend had written to say she had sensed my struggle and would be praying for me throughout that day. Her words were just what I needed to read to strengthen me for the day ahead.

So far, this week has been much like last week. I won’t pretend I’m sailing through it with a smile and an aura of unflappable serenity. But I do know that God is good. He hasn’t forgotten me. He loves me so much that He provides beautiful people, His image-bearers and beloved saints, to give me tangible reminders of His love. And I cling to this:

Even when I can barely hold on, God is always…ALWAYS…holding on to me.

“If I take the wings of the dawn,

If I dwell in the remotest parts of the sea,

Even there Your hand will lead me,

And Your right hand will lay hold of me.”

~ Psalm 139:9-10