The Lord our God created us. There is nothing in us that would surprise the Omniscient God. In His infinite wisdom, the Lord knows everything about us. We cannot hide anything from our Creator. Everything is naked before His eyes. Even from far off, He understands our thoughts. Even before we speak a word, even as it is formed in our tongue, the Lord knows. That’s why David says, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me” (Psalm 139:6, NKJV).
In His mercies, our Father in Heaven also understands depression. Whether it was Moses, the great prophet or David, the man after God’s own heart, they had suffered depression. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, declares Solomon (Proverbs 13:12, NKJV). Even the great heroes of faith suffered from depression, as things did not turn out as they expected. As time ran out, they had to endure their hearts losing their confidence.
In his utter depression, a broken-hearted Elijah pleaded with God to take his life as he was not better than his ancestors (1 Kings 19:4). And there is something we need to notice here. Though Elijah said that prayer in depression, the Lord never reprimanded him for that. More importantly, He did answer Elijah’s prayer: the Lord did take away Elijah, except not in the way the prophet wanted. This is our God. This is our Father in Heaven.
The Lord understands depression. When we utter certain things because we are depressed, He knows the broken heart behind those utterances. When we say few things that we would not normally say, our Father in Heaven knows that we are saying such things because we are downcast. What the Lord does not like, what He hates is murmuring against Him. But a broken-heart, the Lord does not despise. In face, the Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). Our Great Physician binds those who are heart-broken, and heals them.
Of course, the greatest depression we see is in the Garden of Gethsemane. Our Savior Jesus Christ came for one purpose – to die on the Cross, so that we are saved. Yet the night before, He suffered so much in his anguish, he sweat drops of blood (Luke 22:44). Our Teacher’s soul was so deeply grieved to the point of death, in His depression, He asked the Father “to remove that cup from Him.” But regaining His composure, He added, “Yet not what I will, but what You will” (Mark 14:36). Again God our Father did not reproach His Son for that prayer. Since we know that our Lord Jesus is without sin, His utterance “to remove that cup from Him” was not a sin.
It is in this light, we need to look at the utterance of Job’s wife. By the Spirit of God, hopefully, before we finish this series, we will be able to see that her ‘irate’ directive to Job was actually very similar to the prayer of Elijah, and to an extent, and I am saying this with utmost humility and trepidation, is similar to our Lord’s prayer asking that the cup be removed from Him.
But to reach that point, we need to understand one of the well-known words in the Bible; a word we all know well for nearly a decade now, thanks to the American politics.
El Roi. God Who sees me. And our LORD is not only sees us in the times of our troubles, but He is also the LORD Who hears your afflictions.
Gen 16:11 And the Angel of the LORD said to her: “Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has heard your affliction.”
Yes, dear friend, He hears our afflictions. It is surprising to note that in all her troubles, Hagar did not raise her voice and cried out to God. I don’t know the reason why. Was she forbidden from praying to our LORD because she was an Egyptian main? Or because she despised Sarah, she was afraid that God would not listen to her prayers? No idea. But how sweet of our LORD to hear her afflictions.
You may not be able to pray right now as you are undergoing severe trial. Probably the trial is so severe and intense, you are not able to find even a second to raise your voice to the LORD.
Or, probably the devil is accusing of some sin or trespass that you have committed; he keeps telling you that the LORD would not hear your prayers anyway, so why bother.
Or, there is a low self-esteem that tells you, “But you are not worthy at all.”
But the LORD hears your afflictions.
The LORD knows the trials you are undergoing. HE is El Roi – God Who sees you. HE knows.
The LORD forgives faster than you can imagine. The moment your heart was broken because of conviction of sin, our Father in Heaven is waiting to embrace you and celebrate your return to His presence.
Unworthy we may be in the eyes of the world, even in our estimates; but we are precious in the eyes of the LORD. So precious that He gave His only Son to die a brutal death on the Cross for you and for me.
The LORD hears your heart breaking under the trials; He hears the sighs that escape without your knowing. The LORD hears the weeping of your heart in silence in the maddening din of this world.
HE is El Roi – God Who sees you and the LORD Who hears your affliction. In the middle of all your trials, take heart, dear friend, for the LORD is closer to you than you can imagine.