by Paul Tautges | September 18, 2023 1:38 am
Earlier this year, it was a delight to preview a marvelous new book: Midnight Mercies. As a result, I wrote the following endorsement.
Overflowing with hope and grace, this book is a treasure chest of helpful transparency and biblical wisdom for any woman who is walking through a dark valley.
The following excerpts are taken from the first five chapters of Midnight Mercies. You can learn more about the book, view endorsements, and pre-order a copy today by visiting this link. The book officially releases from P&R Publishing on October 4th.
There are no new problems under the sun. Although no two experiences of depression are exactly alike, despondency is a distinctly human problem. Though the path through this darkness is daunting, it’s also well-traveled. Generations past have made it through, and out, and, by the grace of God, up. It’s true. The “huge cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1) includes despondent believers who made it through the dark, and out of the dark, and up from the dark alive. The light of life came to them in time. And by God’s midnight mercies, it will come to you too. You’re going to make it. You’ll see.
If we saw the holy temple in Jerusalem burning to the ground, wouldn’t we cry out for someone to help? ‘God’s house is on fire! Quick! Somebody grab the water!’ Hopeless desperation in depression is no different. Your body is God’s temple, and you’re burning (1 Cor. 6:19). Though it can be dangerous to try to fight the fire on your own, you can move toward safety through the ministry of Spirit-filled helpers—those who are wise, understanding, and experienced (Deut. 1:13; Prov. 11:14). Seeking the practical help and ongoing support of Christian community doesn’t specifically address the reasons that we feel the way we do, but it’s a step of first importance—an immediate priority. Your need for help is not a character flaw—it’s God’s design.
If it seems like this journey is too much for you today, that’s because it is (1 Kings 19:7). And God’s goal for us on days like this is not that we would rise to the occasion like self-sufficient supermoms but that we would rely on him like suffering saints who know their need. He says, ‘Come to me,’ not ‘Go get ’em!’; ‘Take my rest,’ not ‘Rally time!’ (Matt. 11:28). If all you can manage to do right now is take one faithful, feeble step in the strength God supplies, that’s not at all defeat but great success. You’re learning how to live when all you want to do is quit. That’s no small victory. That’s faith in action.
Sadness: Facing the Unfixable
What Martha and Mary didn’t perceive about Jesus’s plan was the God-glorifying outcome he had in mind for Lazarus—a resurrection. Though this plan may not have felt loving as it unfolded, we have the benefit of hindsight. Yes, before witnessing a joyous outcome the family experienced tremendous sorrow—a painful reality Christ neither diminished nor ignored. But every one of those heartbreaking, humanly unfixable moments fit into his good, gracious plan of redemption. He didn’t leave his friends in the darkness of death. He brought them light and life, just as he promised. ‘Jesus bought the right to make everything right.’ We have hope even when everything’s wrong.
As we consider the overall trajectory of the Christian life, let’s remember that we are living in the middle of God’s redemptive story. Just as Job’s is a ruin-before-restoration story, and Christ’s is a death-before-resurrection story, yours is a suffering-before-glory story, a hurt-before-healing story, a darkness-before-light story (Rom. 8:17). No matter how bad or bitter things seem today, you will not be left where you are now. God will not keep you in this prison forever—that’s not his plan.
In addition to offering this new resource, Christine is also hosting a free online event for mothers who are walking through depression. The Midnight Mercies Virtual Summit runs from Monday, October 2nd through Friday, October 6th and features sessions with Christian mothers and authors such as Vaneetha Risner, Camille Cates, Sharon Betters, Sarah Walton, Abbey Wedgeworth, Shannon McCoy, Christina Fox and others. To learn more and register for this virtual summit, visit this link..
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