Encouragement From A Blind Woman

Before you read this post, please also considering reading God Help Me - Comfort #1, which will encourage you in the midst of the deep darkness that had swallowed your heart right now. The hymn lyrics below will also encourage you.

Fanny Crosby was a professor at a school for the blind in New York.  She was close friends with President James Polk.  In fact, she met twenty-two US presidents in her lifetime.  She was also the first woman to address Congress.

Here is an excerpt from her hymn "Bright Forever":

In the bright, the bright forever,
In the summer land of song.

On the banks beyond the river
We shall meet, no more to sever;
In the bright, the bright forever,
In the summer land of song.

Yet a little while we linger,
Ere we reach our journey's end;
Yet a little while of labor,
Ere the evening shades descend;
Then we'll lay us down to slumber,
But the night will soon be o'er;
In the bright, the bright forever,
We shall wake, to weep no more.


God Help Me - Comfort

There's a good chance you're reading this because you Googled "God help me." I'm a freelance writer named Kevin Ott. I used to suffer from clinical depression. I don't anymore, and it is a miracle of God. I no longer believe that everything is coincidence. I believe that God intervenes more than we realize. And I believe you've found this page for a reason.

God is Thinking About You Right Now

If you typed “god help me” into Google because you're hurting or because your spirit is desperate for some kind of life, some glimpse of hope and encouragement, just know you are not alone right now. There is Someone who sees your heart and feels your emotions as if those feelings were His own. There is Someone who cares about you more than you care about yourself.

There is Someone who has you in His thoughts at this very moment. Jesus said this about God:

“For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8).

David, the great king of Israel, the man who wrote many of the psalms in the Bible and who prophesied with startling accuracy about the coming of Jesus Christ, described the way God thinks about us -- yes, every one of us, no matter who you are or what you have done in life:

“Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works Which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered” (Psalm 40:5).

Through the prophets of ancient Israel, God said this:

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

God occupies eternity, a dimension outside of space and time. He has all the “time” He needs to hear, examine, and respond to each prayer, emotion, and thought we express towards Him. C.S. Lewis, an Oxford scholar from the 20th century and one of the greatest intellectuals of modern times, wrote this about God’s thoughts towards us in his book Mere Christianity:

“God has infinite attention, infinite leisure to spare for each one of us. He doesn't have to take us in the line. You're as much alone with Him as if you were the only thing He'd ever created.”

God loves you more than you love yourself and more than any other person has loved you. You are not alone. He is with you right now.

God uses all sorts of odd little things to send messages of love -- little love letters -- to you. The trouble is that our eyes aren’t always open to see them and recognize His handwriting when they arrive at our door.

There was a period in my life where I was diagnosed with chronic depression. It was bad. I’ll leave it at that and spare you the details. But one day I was sitting at my little half-cubicle, half-counter customer service desk where I worked; and it was a rough day. The depression was overpowering. I couldn’t shake it off enough to concentrate . Of course, I was fortunate enough to at least be at work. For people who have a serious clinical form of depression, there are times when it is as debilitating as some medical illness or bodily injury; it can make it impossible for you to even get up and move around. People don’t always understand the medical side of serious clinical depression and what it does to your body.

As I sat there trying to work, the most ridiculous, random thought entered my mind. I longed for the friendly company of a dog. As silly as that sounds, in that moment there would have been nothing more comforting than a faithful canine curled up at my feet with his nose resting contentedly on his paws. I shook my head and prayed a mock prayer to God -- “Lord, please send me a dog.” It was uttered in the back of my mind as I typed, but somewhere deep in my heart there was child-like sincerity.

Within five to seven seconds I heard a sound; it was a rustling of barely audible movement. I saw a black shape in the corner of my eye. Something was entering my cubicle space. Instinctively, I swiveled in my chair to look, wondering if a co-worker was playing some kind of practical joke.

It was a dog. A black lab. He approached me, glanced up at me casually if I had been his owner for years, sat down, and made himself comfortable at my feet. I’m fairly certain my jaw was also sitting on the floor after dropping open from shock. A little while later, he heard something, jumped up, and left as quickly as he had come. Of all the years I had worked there, I had never seen a dog in the building. I found out later that a co-worker from another part of the building had brought the canine. There were many offices, hallways, and desks in that building -- possibly a few dozen people at least -- and the dog ended up at mine at the very moment after I finished a half-serious prayer asking God to send a dog.

To be clear, the purpose of sharing that experience is not to persuade you that whenever you pray, God -- like a cosmic genie -- will magically procure your answer from thin air within seconds. There have been times when I have prayed and didn’t get an immediate answer. There are some prayers that have still not been answered, and it has been years since I prayed them. Instead of being angry about it, however, I simply write down my prayer so I don’t forget it when His answer does come -- whatever that answer might be. I then remember my prayer and be able to recognize His answer when it arrives.

The point is that God does communicate with us -- with each of us, individually, and He does so with a very specific purpose in mind. He uses all sorts of methods -- many of them creative. The dog example was just one. I’ve seen God in His great resourcefulness use all sorts of ordinary objects and means -- road signs, license plates, songs on the radio, emails, strangers walking up to someone with a “message from God,” sermons, books, the Internet, etc. -- to pass messages of love to someone who was hurting or just needed some encouragement; and the messages often come just at the perfect moment to make the divine intervention obvious, much like the dog arriving in my cubicle at the very moment I prayed about having a dog visit me.

Although no theologian or writer could ever pin down God and provide a perfect explanation as to why He remains mysteriously silent with some prayers but instantly responsive to others, I do know one thing for certain: God is keenly aware of each of us, and He has loved you and known you before you were born. Not only that, but He promises to draw near to you if you draw near to Him; and the feeling of His closeness, His wonderful loving Presence is better than any dog showing up or any other physical/material answer to prayer. He knows each of us intimately:

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them
“ (Psalm 139:16).

God knows the pain in your heart.

He’s thinking about you right now. He has all of eternity to consider the things on your mind and feel the emotions in your heart. It is as if you were the only one He had created -- the only person on earth. That’s how personal He is with you, whether you realize it or not.

As you reach out to Him, He’s reaching out to you. Whether or not a tangible answer manifests itself in a second -- or in a day, a month, a year, or 10 years -- rest assured that He knows what is in your heart and mind and what burdens are there. He’s aware. He feels. He sees. The Bible says He even cries along with us and, when the world has passed away, those who have taken shelter in Christ's abundant grace will have every tear wiped away. Someday all suffering -- past, present, and future -- will be conquered, healed, and wiped away forever, never to sting you again. He can heal you and wipe your tears away now as well. He can comfort you and help you through this. He will help you feel Him close to you. Just call to Him. He makes a simple promise to you in Jeremiah 33:3, which Bono of U2 calls “God’s phone number”:

‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know’“ (Jeremiah 33:3).