Many men are battling despair. Despair is wrecking our culture. Someone you know needs to read this. More than likely, that person is you.
Despair is wrecking our culture. Specifically, despair is killing our men. Someone you know needs to read what I am about to write. More than likely, that someone is you. I know I needed it.
Hold on to this truth: every storm, eventually, runs out of rain.
No matter the depth of your despair, and it is real despair; sooner or later, the storm stops. To outlive the depths of despair—the torrent that pummels and tries to drown us—we must continually look beyond the horizon.
In 1952, a young woman named Florence Chadwick dove into the waters at Catalina Island, determined to swim the California coast. An accomplished swimmer, Florence swam the English Channel both ways, and California's shoreline was next on her list. The day she began her swim, It was cold and foggy, so foggy that she could not see the boats that were accompanying her on the swim. After 15 hours, she begged her trainer to take her out of the water, but he refused, imploring her to continue. Physically and emotionally exhausted, Florence just stopped swimming and had to be rescued from the water. Shortly after, when she got to shore, she realized that she was less than a half-a-mile away.
At a news conference the next day, Florence said, "I do not make excuses for myself, I am the one who asked to be pulled out. But I think that if I could d have seen the shore I would have made it..."
If only she could have seen the shore.
Whether it is a Nazi concentration camp, swimming the California shoreline, or an employer's scrutiny and unceasing criticism, history and science tell us that those who can look beyond the horizon make it. Those who only focus on the crisis and criticism of the moment don't.
In other words, you can walk through the valley of the shadow of death, but you can't pitch your tent there. Keep moving, keep looking for what's beyond the horizon. The shoreline is closer than you think.
Psalm 23 is drenched in hope. The Shepherd guides and comforts His sheep as they walk through the valley. Notice that the sheep are not lost. They have not wandered into the valley by accident. The Shepherd guides them—He is leading them through the valley. This begs the question: Why would a Good Shepherd lead His sheep through darkness, death, and despair?
There are only two possible answers: either the Shepherd is secretly wicked and only pretending to be good or, the Shepherd leads His sheep through the valley because there is something better on the other side.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. You are in the valley because He has something better on the other side—something better over the horizon. The Psalmist tells us, "...they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing" (Psalm 34:10).
The Lord has something good for you.
Keep your gaze on Him.
And remember, sooner or later, every storm runs out of rain.