Downcast?

For when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. 2 Corinthians 5-7

 

Being depressed is a dreadful medical condition, and not to be confused with feeling low or downcast. I think I would be right in believing that we all go through a period of darkness, or some would describe it as a wilderness. In any case it’s not a good place to be even when it can be understandable, and not to be compared with clinical depression.

 

When you or I feel down or very low in spirit, where do we go? Who would we turn to on a human level? For those who have a life partner, he or she will naturally be your go to person, but what if you are on your own, or for a reason best known to yourself you cannot share something with your life partner? The verse makes it clear that in the final analysis, it is “God who comforts the downcast”, but I believe it is a big help to be able to talk to a trusted friend. Not a casual acquaintance, but someone you can trust who will not spill your deepest cares to a third party. Paul’s earthly help came in the form of Titus, his trusted friend.

 

Never underestimate the strength and importance of your trusted friend. We all need one at some point in our life, and maybe more than once. They are not a substitute for God and His unconditional love, but important nonetheless. I love the way the Psalmist expresses it in Psalm 23:4 when he says: “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me”. He is with us “through the valley of the shadow” and I know we can all identify with being in a deep valley with no one else to lean on but God.

 

No one suffered loneliness like Jesus when He hung on the cross and His Father God had forsaken Him for a period. So, take heart my friend, your low time will pass eventually. Lean on Jesus who understands completely, and your trusted friend if you are fortunate enough to have one.

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