God Never Tires of Being our Comforter

The first Sunday of Advent I walk in to church wanting to smell candles and incense.  At this time of the year especially I miss the high church traditions, since we have been going to church in a bar.  As I walk in, late, I run into an acquaintance and he asks how I am.  There is always a pressure within choosing honesty in the midst of my struggle with depression, while still remaining true to being a positive person, as I wrote recently at Provoketive Magazine.   I ask him if he is well?  With a pause he says “I can’t complain.” And I instantly wonder if he read my piece?

As I walk away, I begin to wonder if anyone reads anything I write?  The old dog of depression is under my feet, tripping me up as I walk into the service.  Silly dog, panting with about me with its “Doubt. Fear.  Self hatred.  Self loathing.  Is there anything I do that matters to anyone anywhere?”

Shaking it off at the same time I take off my winter coat, I prepare to listen to God, knowing that sometimes you simply must choose.  Choose faith. Choose joy.  As I laid in bed earlier this morning, slightly dreading being alive, I chose to get up.  I “do another day” many days when I am depressed, because this is what I choose to do.

I choose to see and feel the Comforter.   At least this is what I am thinking as the band starts up.  They’re really good this morning.  The A team, I think to myself.

We begin by singing…

“Our God is a God who saves… He holds the keys of life, our Lord. Death has no sting, no final word.”

I settle in, in order to stop the hard work of choosing and  let God save me— again.  He is the one who saves.  We are reminded in this song our job is to wait…

We will wait. We will wait upon the Lord. We will wait upon the Lord.”

I raise my hands almost in a plea, a prayer “Oh God, my hope, my Strong Deliverer, you are the everlasting God.” I say the words, choking on them, because I cannot sing them.  Not to worry, my heart tells me, because God doesn’t get tired of being your comforter.

The everlasting God — You do not faint. You won’t grow weary. You’re the defender of the weak.

I am weak, so blasted tired.

You comfort those in need.

I choose you Lord, but I have such a great need.

You lift us up on wings like eagles. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, Your perfect love is casting out fear, And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life I won’t turn back I know you are near And I will fear no evil for my God is with me And if my God is with me Whom then shall I fear? Whom then shall I fear?

And I weep with the realization that I don’t have to be afraid — of myself, of depression, of the mess in my heart, of the fear of not ever being useful, of my shame for the way my life has come together.

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on a glorious light beyond all compare.
And there will be an end to these troubles. But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth
Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes.

The band launches into :

I will enter his gates with Thanksgiving in my heart 

I will enter His courts with praise

I will say this is the day that the Lord had made

I will rejoice for he has made me glad.

And I’m not ready to “be glad”– this song is too jubilant for me, I am still weary from sobbing my way through worship, barely catching my breath, tears coursing down my face warm and salty.  I feel so loved!  My son, concerned to see me cry twice in as many days and perhaps only a half-dozen times in his twelve years of life, puts his arm around me.  He whispers “Are you okay, Mom?”  Oh yes, I am very okay!

Though I am weary from weeping and knowing and choosing, I know that if I can rejoice, the word in hebrew ‘gil’ means to be glad, yes, I think, even joyful in this, I will endure anything life can bring.  The deep, deep well of despair lifts a little bit more.  I want to shout “Bring it on, Mother F***er!” with a raised fist to the Evil One who has tormented me.  But that would be inappropriate.  I laugh inside, almost gleeful because the inexplicable darkness, the unimaginable hell is lifting.

Psalm 2: 11 says I will rejoice with trembling.  And that is me in this moment.  I sit in stunned reverence.  For God enfolded me this morning in his love through the music, the kicking keyboard and amazing bass, the beautiful female voice and my friend Paul — all those who led us in to the holy of holies.

And as they did, I fell — stumbled toward my God broken, frail, unable to even be glad I was alive.  Simply hoping, tired of the dailiness and deadliness of depression.

Oh yes! Sometimes, you can rejoice even when you had to choose to do it first.

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth

Until that day comes.

4 thoughts on “God Never Tires of Being our Comforter

  1. wow. this is so moving mel. i don’t even know what to say. i’m really impacted to hear your worship inner monologue. really amazing. thanks so much for writing it down.


    1. I appreciate your active work of bringing us into that holy place week after week. You never know what God is doing. I am so grateful for you Paul. Mel


  2. Ah yes, still I will praise you. Some days, despite the magnificence of who Jesus is and what he did, it is a choice to hold on, looking for the light and focusing on all that is good right here and now.

    By the way, I love Advent too and my church doesn’t do anything in particular for it so I have an advent wreath in my 4th/5th grade class. First Sunday is HOPE and we looked up the scriptures that prophesied that Jesus would be born of a virgin in Bethlehem and that he would be from the tribe of Judah and a descendent of King David. So many years ago people waited expectantly and now we too wait on his return, and the chance to be truly “home”.

    Some of the things my kids said they have hope in Jesus for are as follows:

    *One girl hopes her mom can stop being sad about not growing up with a dad because he died when she was two.
    *One boys wants a dad who lives in the same town.
    *One girls hopes Jesus can help her step-siblings remember her after they move to another state, far away.
    *One girls wants her mom and grandma to get along since her mom feels like the grandma has never really loved her.

    I pray they will understand now that Jesus is the rock we cling to. How deep the hurts and fears are even for these children. I don’t want them to hurt but certainly wouldn’t want their tender hearts to harden to these relationship issues. It only emphasized to me that we are all broken and need Jesus. If we think we don’t, we are only kidding ourselves.


    1. It’s humbling to read the other side of it and see how our lives, brokenness impact our kids. Wow. Thanks for sharing all that. And beautiful too, to know that Jesus will hold them even when we don’t, can’t. I pray my children will one day come to know this personally. Love you Karen.


Thanks so much for reading and sharing.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s