For weeks now I have been getting steadily more depressed. Between the constant pain, my inability to write at length, and my continual focus on my continual failure, I was falling further and further away from God. I felt like there was a barrier between me and him, and my life had become one of waking, going to work, coming home, watching anime, and sleeping. I ate, I read, and I did my best to just make it through.
That is not the sort of life I want to lead.
One night recently I decided to go to bed early and pray. I needed help and I needed freedom, for I felt chained down and constricted. I could no longer hear God’s voice, and my steps had faltered and fallen still.
God, I want to do what you want me to, but I can’t hear you. I feel like something is blocking me, something is preventing me from reaching you, and I’m not strong enough to break through on my own. I need you to reach through and tear this apart God, to come and find me.
I wanted God to fix me, but I felt like this was something he wanted me to do myself. I couldn’t hear him directly, but the sense I received was that he had already given me the strength I needed.
I tried to bring discernment to bear to figure out what was wrong with me, but I could see nothing but darkness. Recalling a vision from God in the past, I tried to draw the light of the Holy Spirit from her temple in my heart, but I made no headway.
I had once seen my spiritual heart as being covered in diseased sin, but that sin separated and held apart from my healed heart by a flaming sword, that is by God. I tried to draw that flame out to cut through the cloying darkness that weighed me down, but I couldn’t. I felt no response.
Then I remembered the day I entered into God’s salvation. While praying at that church, with several elders from the church praying over me, I begged Jesus to let me know he was there. That he had accepted me. That I was forgiven. Over and over, Jesus, let me know you’re here. Jesus, let me know you’re here. Jesus, let me know you’re here… and then he spoke.
I am here.
On the day of my salvation, I felt a mighty wave wash over me, like a deep blue ocean sweeping through my soul, and all the darkness, sin, failure, and weakness was cleaned from my being. I thought back to that day and pictured water rushing from God’s temple, that is my heart, and washing away the darkness, bursting the bonds that held me and lifting my body away from sin.
The pain was such that my back arched involuntarily, for the darkness had been both confining and protective. My nerves had deadened and scarred, and this wave exposed them to air and light once again. Even as it was pushed away, that heavy sin struggled to settle back, but I felt God’s encouragement. Pushing unrelenting, it was rinsed away, yet I felt it continue to seep out of a spot near my navel in a manner I hadn’t experienced before.
I reached two conclusions. First, that this cocoon that had come to envelop my spirit was not entirely the result of my own doldrums, but had been helped along by minions of Satan, and it was partly them I had to fight. Second, however, I realized that this darkness would return if I fell back to inactivity, and it highlighted the importance of daily prayer, immersion in the Word, and pressing into God.
The area of the navel represents birth, for it is the scar that was once connected to an umbilical cord, and the inheritance of humanity which is sin. Daily confession and prayer will wash the wound clean, but it must be a regular discipline. While we may have been saved by God, we will fall into sin if we do not press into him, and the darkness that consumes us will prevent us from living the life to which he has called us.
I forced the water down into my navel, cleaning out my detestable spirit, and welcomed God in anew. I could once again hear his voice, feel his presence, and we spoke affably. Despite my sins, he remained my father, and we were reunited with joy. He had never left, always remaining near, but I could not see or hear him. Now all was right.
I asked him to stay until I fell asleep, and he assured me that he would be there even while I slept. This is a lesson I must remember, that our natural inclinations towards sin will ruin us if we are not alert and active. Daily prayer will help wash us clean and keep us healthy, without which we will fall into lethargy and depression.