By Joshua Rogers at http://www.joshuarogers.com, May 24, 2017.
Ten years ago this month, I started the day by getting on my face before God and saying, “Lord, I’m getting down on the floor because if I get up, I’m afraid I’ll do something stupid.”
I had good reason to be concerned.
I was a single man who was making poor choices left and right. And although my closest friends were trying to help me get back on track, if they weren’t around, I started itching to make additional foolish decisions. The morning I prostrated myself on the floor before God was no exception and I felt helpless. I was my own worst enemy.
When I finally got up, I took out my journal and wrote a prayer. I told God that I knew I was living through one of the darkest hours of my life, and the scariest part was that I was starting to like the darkness. I ended the prayer by writing, “Jesus, if You ever loved me, please send help now.”
My heart remained heavy that day, as it had been for weeks. I had always been such an optimistic person, but for the first and only time in my life, I wondered if I might be better off dead. I couldn’t trust myself. Plus, because of some of the choices I had made, I felt unworthy, unlovable, and undeserving of marriage, which I had hoped for since I was a child.
Despite my depression and an intense storm that ripped through the city, I decided to go to a hat-themed dance party at a friend’s house that night. While I appeared to be having a good time in my Panama Jack beach hat, I was aching with shame. But then, shortly after the party started, my whole life changed.
The front door opened, and an attractive woman walked in. She had dark brown hair, dark skin, brown eyes; and she was wearing a red, velvet cowboy hat with white, fuzzy trim. I kept my eye on her, waiting for her to find her date. She didn’t.
Instead, she moved to the edge of the dance floor and looked slightly uncomfortable standing by herself, so I came over and introduced myself. We struck up a conversation, during which I discovered that she was deeply committed to Jesus, which made me doubt she would even be interested in a damaged believer like me.
Even so, I took her number at the end of the night and wondered if anything would come of our conversation. Within a week, we went on our first date. Within six weeks, we were madly infatuated with each other. Within four months, we were engaged. Within nine months, we were married. Nine years later, we’re still happily married.
Maybe you’re going through a dark time right now. Maybe it seems like all is lost. Maybe you’ve failed big time, and it feels like all the momentum in your life is headed in a negative direction.
It can turn around in a moment.
Maybe you feel disconnected from God. Maybe your most significant relationships lie in shambles. Maybe you’re sick and tired and hardly have the energy to pray.
It can turn around in a moment.
Maybe you’re tired of crying until your head hurts. Maybe you’re right on the verge of throwing it all away because your life seems meaningless.
I’m telling you: It can turn around in a moment.
The Lord stands ready to answer the desperate prayer, “Jesus, if You ever loved me, please send help now.” You may be too disoriented to immediately recognize His answer in the pain, but His name is Comforter, Helper, Advocate, Friend, Counselor; and you can trust that He is responding. He is providing.
No matter how you feel right now, He is your “refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1), and He is more than able to turn it all around for your good (Romans 8:28). Give Him a chance. Cry out to Him. You never know — He may just turn things around in a moment.
Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Rogers
Romans 7:15…18b-19 — I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do; but what I hate I do… I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do— this I keep on doing.
Psalm 88:3…18b — I am overwhelmed with troubles and my life draws near to death… (and the) darkness is my closest friend.
Psalm 88:1-2 — Lord, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you. May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.
Psalm 46:1 — God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
I Corinthians 15:51-52 — I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
O Lord our God, even at this moment as I come blundering into Thy presence in prayer, I am haunted by memories of duties unperformed, promptings disobeyed, and beckonings ignored.
I am ashamed, O Lord, and tired of failure.
Be Thou my refuge and strength, come close to me, and help me. Amen.
–Peter Marshall in Mr. Jones, Meet the Master, p. 48 (adapted).