Are you there?
I have been at rock bottom. It is painful – especially when you first hit. When you get so low that you can no longer see the light. When God seems to be absent. When there is only seeming hopelessness as you lose your grip, fall into the darkness, and crash hard on the rock below.
It hurts…but, there is still hope.
You probably cannot see it right now, but when you crash, when you hit rock bottom, when you are slammed so hard that everything is spinning out of control…open your eyes. When you hit rock bottom, you may find that you have in fact slammed directly into the Rock of Ages.
Spurgeon put it so eloquently, “I have learned to kiss the wave that drives me against the Rock of Ages.” He does not mean that sin and hardship are good, but that those things can be used by God to bring you closer to him.
When I look back on the time I hit rock bottom, I can see clearly that I did in fact slam directly into Jesus Christ and his Glory. The Rock. Those things that are causing you so much pain, may in fact be preparing you for repentance, preparing you for a restored relationship with God and for service.
God will let his children sink low. Perhaps it even feels like he has let you fall. But do not despair. He is at the bottom waiting to catch you. As Moses says,
“The eternal God is your dwelling place and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
Yes, he sees us as we tremble in fear as we slip into that pit, as the carpet is pulled out from under us, as our marriages fall apart, as we struggle against the bottle, or lose our jobs… and He cares. He could grab us before we hit rock bottom and make our footsteps firm again, and often he does exactly that.
But not this time.
This time He has a lesson for us. In Psalm 119 we read that,
“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.”
When I hit rock bottom I admit that I at first despaired of God’s love, mercy and grace. I did not believe he loved me. I did not look to his promises, I just looked at my situation and I doubted his goodness toward me. But please do not despair. God does not say it will be easy. There may be tears of anguish. There may be a huge mess to clean up and a lot of work to do. But looking back, I can truly say with Psalmist, “It was good for me that I was afflicted…”
Look to his promises. Those things that brought you to this place, God is using them for your good to bring you closer to him. Please do not think that your suffering has come to you apart from God’s gracious design. God says in Deuteronomy, “…there is no god besides Me…I wound and I heal…” Yes, God did that. He allowed your suffering for a reason. That reason was to bring you closer to him. Don’t look at your situation, don’t dwell on these things. Look rather to what is unseen.
Look to the promises of God, trust in them – even if it is hard to do it. Even at your lowest, God promises are true. He promises to be found, so seek him! Don’t turn away! Even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if you want to blame God. Look at these promises:
But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. ~ Deuteronomy 4:29
I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. ~Proverbs 8:17
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. ~ Jeremiah 29:13
The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. ~Psalm 34:10
Rock bottom hurts, I know, but it may be exactly what you need. Perhaps you have been slammed into the Rock of Ages.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”