Suffocation. Blindness. That's how despair feels. It blinds you to all light, hope, faith, joy and love. Things your spirit needs for survival just as your physical body needs air.
I felt it years and years ago, remember the darkness all around me, like I had stumbled into a cave, cold, clammy, void of all light and warmth. God had mercy on me, forgave me for my selfishness...sent angels to protect me from myself and guide me to safety...sent friends and family whose tears bathed my eyes, allowing the light of love to rush back into my soul and to recognize the blessings all around me.
In This Present Darkness, Frank Peretti depicts despair as a demon. I can believe this - I still sense his presence lurking around me at times, feel him trying to shroud me with his foul breath that makes me forget that my life is not my own, but God's...separates me from the love and light, fills me with selfishness. Despair is persistent.
There are days when I worry and fret, feel sorry for myself. Feel disconnected, lost and alone. As scary as it seems, it helps at those times to picture this demon of despair looming nearby, trying to cover me in his dark cloud. It stirs my fight-instinct, makes me kick and scratch and call on God for strength and help.
I'm praying now for a friend who seems to be shrouded in despair, who has lost hope, forgotten what brings true joy, and is numb to the love around him. Please pray with me.