A friend who was struggling with the idea of God once asked me:

If you base your whole life on what God wants and what He says, doesn’t that limit your life? Or if you use His sovereignty to comfort yourself, doesn’t it make Christianity a crutch?”

My friend, you are actually pretty correct. In some way, Christianity is a crutch. To a healthy person, a crutch is useless and only limits what you can do in life; but to a crippled person, a crutch is everything to him – the crutch enables him to live, when on his own he cannot. His life hinges on that crutch.

Well, I know my soul is crippled. What about yours?

This season of my life has been one fraught with despair. I’ve been hit by disappointment after disappointment – people I cared about let me down, studies seemed to be getting nowhere, everything I thought I had a grasp on, was suddenly not there.

It was like getting hit by a bus, and for a long time I couldn’t get up. I was crippled. Sadly, I even felt that there was no point in getting up anyway, because another bus would come and hit me again. Even my prayers seemed to reverberate in an echo-chamber of my bedroom, never reaching Heaven.

“What would really make me happy, is knowing that I am loved by You. I just need to know that I am loved.”

And it was a very dark place to be in. I did not see a point in waking up, did not see a point in going to school. I did not want to talk to people or hear what they could say to comfort me. I even looked like I did not belong in the land of the living.

I felt as though God had forgotten about me and I was left to fend for myself in the valley, but one fine day, my mouth opened to pray, and my heart to hear. And in that moment, God spoke:

“What would make you happy?”

Many things sprung to mind – good grades, better friends, being wealthy, getting healthy … But as the list continued and as I extrapolated the happiness index, I concluded those things would one day expire, and the derived happiness would inevitably cease to exist.

“God, we both know those things will not make me happy. What would really make me happy, is knowing that I am loved by You. I just need to know that I am loved.”

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalms 23:4)

Then He said, “What I want you to consider is this: If one day you were to lose everything you held dear, how would your life be like? Would you consider Me enough when everything, and perhaps everyone you treasured, is swept away like vapour?”

God didn’t need my answer. But He knew that was enough for me to hold onto while I walk through this. And while I am not fully out of the deep, I know that there are lilies in the valley.

When the mountains fall
And the sea turns rough
“But My Word stands strong,” says the Lord
When the world gets tough
Filled with broken hearts
“But my love won’t fail,” says the Lord

This article was first published on Weiren’s blog and was republished with permission.